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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT FOR HUMID AND SUB-HUMID CLIMATES

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Irrigation challenges in the sub-humid US mid-south

Authors
item Vories, Earl
item Evett, Steven

Submitted to: International Journal of Water
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Irrigated area in the Mid-South United States continues to increase and now totals 4 million ha, and proper irrigation management is difficult. Comprehension of the water quality and efficiency impacts under irrigation is necessary to justify conversion from groundwater to surface water supplies. As irrigation has increased, the number of university research and extension personnel focusing on irrigation has declined. Similarly, the number of US Department of Agriculture personnel in the Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service has not kept pace with the increase in irrigated land and the resulting challenges. A combined state and federal response to these challenges is needed to provide solutions that ensure efficient water use and high productivity while protecting water supplies and the environment so that everyone can benefit from more stable food and water supplies.

Technical Abstract: Irrigated area in the Mid-South United States continues to increase and now totals 4 million ha. Because of low available water holding capacities and shallow root-limiting layers in many soils, irrigation management is difficult. Water quality and water use efficiency impacts under irrigation are also poorly understood, but comprehension is necessary if conversion from groundwater to surface water supplies is to be justified. As irrigation has increased, the number of university research and extension personnel as well as the number of US Department of Agriculture personnel in the Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service has not kept pace with the increase and the resulting challenges. A combined state and federal response to these challenges is needed to provide appropriate and effective problem solutions that ensure efficient water use and high crop water productivity while protecting water supplies and the environment.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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