MANAGING WATER AVAILABILITY AND QUALITY TO MAINTAIN OR INCREASE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES, AND ENHANCE ENVIRONMENT
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Variable-rate irrigation management using an expert system in the eastern coastal plain
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2012
Publication Date: October 21, 2012
Citation: Stone, K.C., Bauer, P.J., Millen, J.A., Evans, D.E., Strickland Jr, E.E. 2012. Variable-rate irrigation management using an expert system in the eastern coastal plain. In: Proceedings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meeting, October 21-24, 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Variable rate irrigation (VRI) 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 2007-2010 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. Automation of the VRI system utilizing the expert system will be discussed.