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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOP AND TRANSFER IRRIGATED AND NON-IRRIGATED PEANUT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES Title: Deep subsurface drip irrigation for cotton in the southeast

Authors
item Sorensen, Ronald
item Butts, Christopher
item Nuti, Russell

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2012
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Sorensen, R.B., Butts, C.L., Nuti, R.C. 2012. Deep subsurface drip irrigation for cotton in the southeast. Journal of Cotton Science. 15:233-242.

Interpretive Summary: Long-term cotton yield with various irrigation rates and crop rotations irrigated with subsurface drip irrigation is not known for the US Southeast. A SSDI system was installed in Southwest GA (1998) and maintained for 10 years. The soil was a Tifton loamy sand (Fine-loamy, kaolinitic, thermic Plinthic Kandiudults) and consisted of three crop rotations, two drip tube lateral spacings, and three irrigation levels. Crop rotations were alternate year cotton (cotton-peanut; Arachis hypogeae L), two years (cotton-maize (Zea mays L.) -peanut), and three years between cotton (cotton-maize-maize-peanut). Drip tube laterals were installed underneath each crop row and alternate crop row furrows. Cotton was not grown in 1999 and 2006. Crops were irrigated daily at 100, 75 and 50% of estimated crop water use. There was no lint yield difference due to crop rotation. Lint yield differences were attributed to irrigation treatments in 4 out of 8 years. Lint yields were greatest when irrigated at the 75% irrigation level compared with 50% and in 3 out of 4 years when compared with 100% irrigation treatment. Higher lint yield with irrigation also coincided with lower seasonal rainfall totals. Drip tube lateral spacing affected lint yield 4 out of 8 years. Across all years, yield data indicates that alternate row furrow lateral spacing is as effective as every-row lateral spacing. Some fiber qualities were affected by irrigation, lateral, and rotation treatments but these effects were small and inconsistent. For subsurface drip irrigation use in the Southeast, the recommendation would be to irrigate cotton using 75% irrigation level and with tubing in alternate row furrows.

Technical Abstract: Long-term cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L) yield with various irrigation rates and crop rotations irrigated with subsurface drip irrigation (SSDI) is not known for the US Southeast. A SSDI system was installed in Southwest GA (1998) and maintained for 10 years. The soil was a Tifton loamy sand (Fine-loamy, kaolinitic, thermic Plinthic Kandiudults) and consisted of three crop rotations, two drip tube lateral spacings, and three irrigation levels. Crop rotations were alternate year cotton (cotton-peanut; Arachis hypogeae L), two years (cotton-maize (Zea mays L.) -peanut), and three years between cotton (cotton-maize-maize-peanut). Drip tube laterals were installed underneath each crop row and alternate crop row furrows. Cotton was not grown in 1999 and 2006. Crops were irrigated daily at 100, 75 and 50% of estimated crop water use. There was no lint yield difference due to crop rotation. Lint yield differences were attributed to irrigation treatments in 4 out of 8 years. Lint yields were greatest when irrigated at the 75% irrigation level compared with 50% and in 3 out of 4 years when compared with 100% irrigation treatment. Higher lint yield with irrigation also coincided with lower seasonal rainfall totals. Drip tube lateral spacing affected lint yield 4 out of 8 years. Across all years, yield data indicates that alternate row furrow lateral spacing is as effective as every-row lateral spacing. Some fiber qualities were affected by irrigation, lateral, and rotation treatments but these effects were small and inconsistent. For SSDI use in the Southeast, the recommendation would be to irrigate cotton using 75% irrigation level and with tubing in alternate row furrows.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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