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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE PRACTICES FOR IMPROVED WATERSHED MANAGEMENT Title: Scheduling Irrigation on Non-Flooded Rice

Authors
item Vories, Earl
item Tacker, Phil -
item Stevens, William -
item Counce, Paul -
item Larue, Jake -

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 5, 2011
Publication Date: August 8, 2011
Citation: Vories, E.D., Tacker, P.L., Stevens, W.E., Counce, P.A., Larue, J. 2011. Scheduling Irrigation on Non-Flooded Rice. In: Proceedings of ASABE Annual International Meeting, August 7-10, 2011, Louisville, Kentucky. Paper No. 1111547.

Interpretive Summary: Rice is an important food crop worldwide. Continuous-flooding, the most common irrigation method for US rice production, can be fairly water efficient; however, factors such as soil variability and the size of most farming operations combine to reduce the efficiency in many cases. Center pivot irrigation is one potential way to reduce water use in some cases and bring rice into the crop rotation in other situations; however, little information exists to guide farmers on this method of irrigation for rice. Research by ARS, the University of Missouri, and the University of Arkansas developed a method for scheduling irrigation and tested it in a study of center pivot irrigated rice. The procedure appeared to work properly and the next phase of the project will use the method to schedule irrigations in a follow-up study. Farmers will benefit from this research by having an option for reducing water use or by producing a new crop and everyone will benefit from water savings and increased food production.

Technical Abstract: While continuous-flood irrigation, the most common method for US rice production, can have a fairly high application efficiency, factors such as soil variability and the size of most Mid-South farming operations combine to reduce the efficiency in many cases. Center pivot irrigation is one potential way to reduce water use in some cases and bring rice into the crop rotation in other situations. Rice was produced at the University of Missouri Delta Research Center Marsh Farm at Portageville in 2009 and 2010 and irrigated every other day with a 150-m-long center pivot irrigation system. An experimental crop coefficient function was developed and included in a beta version of the Arkansas Irrigation Scheduler to estimate the daily soil water deficit (SWD) and daily short grass reference evapotranspiration (ETo) was calculated from weather data collected on site. Weather conditions were warmer and much drier in 2010 and ETo was higher each month. In 2009, there were a total of 34 days with irrigation and 414 mm of water applied. In 2010, there were a total of 45 days with irrigation and 503 mm of irrigation water applied. The AIS appeared to respond as expected with the frequent irrigation; therefore, the next phase of the project will use the beta version of the AIS to schedule irrigations based on allowable SWD. The findings should indicate whether the current crop coefficient in the AIS is adequate and allow producers a system for scheduling center pivot irrigation on rice.

Last Modified: 12/24/2014
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