Location: Soil and Water Management Research
Title: Irrigation, plant disease and crop water use efficiency Authors
Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2011
Publication Date: June 15, 2011
Citation: Rush, C.M., Price, J., Workneh, F., Oshaughnessy, S.A., Evett, S.R. 2011. Irrigation, plant disease and crop water use efficiency [abstract]. . North Central American Phytopathological Society meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, June 15, 2011. Technical Abstract: The 1N Agricultural Reporting District is composed of 23 counties in the northern Texas Panhandle. This region is one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the state because a large percentage of the arable land is irrigated with groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer. However, irrigated production is at risk due to recent, dramatic drops in the aquifer's water table. For this reason, water conservation and irrigation management have been research priorities for several years. The majority of research has been conducted by agronomists, soil scientists, and agricultural engineers focusing on irrigation scheduling, tillage systems, and irrigation technologies. Considerable research has also been conducted on how these systems and technologies impact crop pests and disease severity, but few studies have evaluated the impact of disease on crop water use efficiency. A series of studies were initiated to evaluate the effects of wheat streak mosaic (WSM) which is caused by Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) vectored by the wheat curl mite, on water use efficiency (WUE) in wheat. The amount of irrigation did not affect the severity of WSM, but disease significantly reduced forage and grain yields, root growth, and crop WUE. The reduction in crop WUE was highly correlated to disease severity which typically decreased with increasing distance from the edge of fields. Current research is being conducted to develop an economic irrigation threshold for diseased wheat and a site specific, variable rate irrigation system.