EFFICIENT AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN HUMID REGIONS
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Variable-rate irrigation management for peanut in the eastern Coastal Plain
Submitted to: Decennial National Irrigation Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2010
Publication Date: December 5, 2010
Citation: Stone, K.C., Bauer, P.J., Busscher, W.J., Millen, J.A., Evans, D.E., Strickland Jr, E.E. 2010. Variable-rate irrigation management for peanut in the eastern Coastal Plain. Proceedings of the 5th Decennial National Irrigation Conference. Paper No. IRR10-8799, 7 pp., December 5-8, 2010, Phoenix, Arizona.
Variable rate irrigation systems have the potential to conserve water by spatially allocating limited water resources. These water savings become more important as urban, industrial, and environmental sectors compete with agriculture for available water. In this study, we conducted variable rate irrigation experiments on peanut comparing traditional irrigation management using soil water potential measurements with irrigation management using an expert system (Irrigator Pro) for spatial crop management. We conducted experiments in 2007-2009 to evaluate Irrigator Pro as a potential tool for variable-rate irrigation of peanut using a site-specific center pivot irrigation system capable of variable rate water applications. Treatments were irrigation of whole plots based on the expert system, irrigation of individual soils within plots based on the expert system, irrigation of individual soils within plots based on soil water potential (SWP) measurements, and rainfed treatments. Irrigator Pro-managed treatments initiated irrigation earlier in the season than for treatments managed with SWP measurements and in one year used significantly greater irrigation. Peanut yields were not significantly different for the irrigated treatments throughout the study.