Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Technologies for Managing Water and Sediment Movement in Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

Title: A review of irrigation termination practices in Northeastern Arkansas

Authors
item Reba, Michele
item Teague, Tina -
item Vories, Earl

Submitted to: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2013
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Citation: Reba, M.L., Teague, T.G., Vories, E.D. 2013. A review of irrigation termination practices in Northeastern Arkansas. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series 610. 41-44.

Interpretive Summary: Irrigation plays an important role in producing consistent and reliable cotton yields in the Midsouth. Of the approximately 600,000 acres of cotton planted in 2007 in Arkansas, over 90% was irrigated. Most cotton acreage is irrigated from the alluvial aquifer, which is being used at an unsustainable rate resulting in cones of depression and increased pumping costs. A review of irrigation termination practices from 2005-2012 from a cotton farm in Mississippi County, Arkansas is presented. Findings show the established guidelines for the final date of irrigation in cotton is being followed by this producer at the study fields.

Technical Abstract: Irrigation plays an important role in producing consistent and reliable cotton yields in the Midsouth. Of the approximately 600,000 acres of cotton planted in 2007 in Arkansas, over 90% was irrigated. Most cotton acreage is irrigated from the alluvial aquifer, which is being used at an unsustainable rate resulting in cones of depression and increased pumping costs. A review of irrigation termination practices from 2005-2012 from a cotton farm in Mississippi County, Arkansas is presented. Irrigation logs and plant mapping were used from 72 fields on over 7,000 acres during the 8-year period. Irrigation termination dates were evaluated and compared to existing guidelines of 350 heat units (DD60) accumulated after nodes above white flower five (NAWF5). Termination of irrigation occurred within two weeks of the eventual guidelines for 7 of the 8 study years in furrow-irrigated fields. Incorporating the guidelines for irrigation termination at the end of the production season is critical. This is due in part to the fact that the end of season is the most expensive pumping period of the production season due to increasing depth to groundwater after a season of pumping throughout the region. Selection of the proper date also allows producers to prepare for harvest without sacrificing yield.

Last Modified: 7/9/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page