EFFICIENT AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN HUMID REGIONS
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Variable rate irrigation management for peanut in the eastern Coastal Plain
Submitted to: International Conference on Precision Agriculture Abstracts & Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2008
Publication Date: July 20, 2008
Citation: Stone, K.C., Bauer, P.J., Busscher, W.J., Millen, J.A., Evans, D.E., Strickland Jr, E.E. 2008. Variable rate irrigation management for peanut in the eastern Coastal Plain. Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, July 20-23, 2008, Denver, Colorado. 2008 CDROM.
Variable rate irrigation provides farmers with a tool to spatially allocate limited water resources while potentially increasing profits. Optimal management of these variable rate irrigation systems will likely require rapid and reliable spatial data. We conducted variable rate irrigation experiments on peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) to evaluate methods of obtaining spatial irrigation management data. These experiments were conducted under the variable-rate, center pivot irrigation system developed at ARS-Florence. Treatments consisted of 4 irrigation timings and 2 crop planting dates, imposed on 4 soil mapping units. We used two types of sensors to evaluate crop spatial characteristics: 1) vegetative-index sensors mounted on both tractor and aircraft were used to estimate plant biomass; and 2) infra-red thermometers mounted on a tractor were used to measure crop canopy temperatures. Preliminary results indicate that vegetative-index sensors adequately determined spatial canopy biomass, suggesting the possibility of using these data for predicting short-term site-specific evapotranspiration. The infra-red thermometers identified field areas experiencing water stress, indicating they could be used to identify field areas requiring irrigation.