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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Lepa and Spray Irrigation in the Southern High Plains

Authors
item Schneider, Arland
item Howell, Terry

Submitted to: American Society of Civil Engineers Water Resources Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: LEPA and spray irrigation methods are being used extensively in the Southern High Plains, but detailed comparisons of the two methods had not been made for the major irrigated crops of the area. During the 1992-94 cropping years, two LEPA and two spray irrigation methods were used to irrigate corn, grain sorghum, and wheat. Irrigation levels ranged from full irrigation for maximum yields to non-irrigated or dryland in equal increments of 25% or 33% of the full irrigation amount. With full irrigation, grain yields from the LEPA and spray methods were similar unless runoff with the LEPA method caused reduced yields. With equal deficit irrigation, however, grain yields with the LEPA method tended to be larger than yields with the spray methods. The studies show the irrigation conditions over which the LEPA irrigation methods will be more efficient than spray irrigation. They also provide management guidelines for growers who are considering conversion from spray irrigation to more expensive LEPA system.

Technical Abstract: LEPA bubble and double-ended sock sprinkler methods were compared with in-canopy and overhead spray irrigation for corn, grain sorghum, and wheat in the Southern High Plains. Irrigation treatments ranged from non-irrigated to fully-irrigated in three or four equal percentage increments. The fully-irrigated application amounts were scheduled from soil water contents determined by the neutron method. With equal deficit irrigation, grain yields with the LEPA methods tended to be larger than yields with the spray methods. With full irrigation, grain yields from the LEPA and spray methods were similar unless runoff with the LEPA method caused reduced yields.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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