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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING WATER PRODUCTIVITY AND NEW WATER MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES TO SUSTAIN RURAL ECONOMIES

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Circular buffer strips in center pivot irrigation for multiple benefits in the Southern Great Plains

Authors
item Angadi, Sangamesh -
item Gowda, Prasanna

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 10, 2013
Publication Date: November 3, 2013
Citation: Angadi, S., Gowda, P. 2013. Circular buffer strips in center pivot irrigation for multiple benefits in the Southern Great Plains [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 421-6.

Technical Abstract: The Ogallala Aquifer has converted the Southern Great Plains from a dust bowl to a highly productive agricultural region in the US. However, over exploitation of the aquifer is threatening sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the region. Partial pivots, where high water using conventional crops are grown only on part of the pivot, are becoming more common due to reduced well outputs. Low pressure center pivot irrigation systems are predominantly used in the region. Unlike surface irrigation systems, small quantity of irrigation water is applied frequently to keep topsoil profile wet in a center pivot system. The region is known for strong winds and abundant sunlight. As a result, when the crop canopy is not fully covered, each circle acts as a hotspot for evaporation. Therefore, innovative systems are needed to sustainirrigated agriculture in the region. Our main concept is to utilize the area unused for irrigation in a partial pivot to layout multiple circular barrier strips of perennial grasses at regular distances. The barriers will offer agroecosystem services like moderation of wind speed, reduce soil evaporation, improve water productivity, protect seedlings from sand blasting, create a better microclimate for seedling growth, conserve high intensity rains, reduce wind erosion, improve environmental quality by reducing dust problem, improve carbon sequestration, provides refuge for diverse wild life, and produce feedstock for renewable energy or forage for animals. Circular design will protect from wind from any direction. The research focus is to identify ideal barrier crops and management strategies to maximize ecosystem services from barrier strips. Most studies on wind barrier focus conserving soil resources, but our focus is to understand water dynamics and improve water efficiency of the system.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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