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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Subsurface Drip Irrigation Management for No-Tillage Production of Cotton, Soybean, and Wheat

item Camp Jr, Carl
item Bauer, Philip

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 10, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Subsurface drip irrigation may replace the need for deep tillage in conservation tillage by keeping compacted soil layers moist enough for root growth. Subsurface drip irrigation was investigated in a two-year experiment on both phases of a wheat-soybean-cotton crop rotation. The irrigation system had been used for five years and provided two irrigation lateral spacings (1m and 2 m) and three irrigation depths (6 mm, 9 mm, and 12 mm). Irrigated soybean yields were greater than rainfed in one of the two years. There were no yield differences among irrigation lateral spacings or irrigation depths. Also, neither cotton nor wheat yields were increased by irrigation. Observations during the growing seasons and cotton root observations after harvest indicate that considerable soil compaction occurred at very shallow soil depths and restricted root growth. This compaction probably limited the efficacy of subsurface drip irrigation, which was located at the 30-cm depth. These results indicate that to obtain optimum no-tillage crop production with subsurface drip irrigation on these soils strategies to reduce soil strength must be developed.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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