Submitted to: Water Quality Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 22, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Currently, few web-based irrigation scheduling tools are available for the humid growing environments of the Mid-South. Common irrigation scheduling systems rely on soil or weather data to estimate crop water use, and are more commonly calibrated for dry growing environments. Increasing use of water in the Mid-South has led to depletion of water levels in aquifers, with few guidelines in place for farmers as to when and how much to irrigate. A web-based irrigation scheduler is being developed that will allow producers and crop consultants to track crop water use and develop an irrigation schedule for crop production. The web-based system will import information from national soil and weather databases into a central server. Farmers will select fields, and input irrigation system specifications, rainfall and irrigation applications. The scheduler will calculate crop water use from weather data, and indicate when soil available moisture is depleted, requiring an irrigation. The irrigation scheduling system will give farmers important tools for improving their crop production system, while conserving precious water resources. By integrating nationally available databases, farmers will be able to quickly import a wide range of information for their farms. By linking with national weather databases, the system has the potential to predict potential future rainfall, reducing potential excessive irrigation of crops. The irrigation scheduler will be most useful to farmers and crop consultants. Scientists and extension personnel will also find the scheduler useful for crop management, education, and demonstrations.