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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #422688

Research Project: Developing Sustainable Cropping Systems to Improve Water Productivity and Protect Water and Soil Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Project Number: 2034-13000-011-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 29, 2012
End Date: Jan 28, 2017

Objective 1. Develop crop water requirements and irrigation strategies for perennial horticultural crops using remotely sensed data. Objective 2: Develop sustainable water management strategies for perennial horticultural crops with limited and impaired water supplies. Subobjective 2A - Determine effects of deficit irrigation on grape fruit quality. Subobjective 2B - Determine water requirements for newly planted pomegranate orchard. Subobjective 2C - Determine NO3-N leaching and N2O emission losses from surface and subsurface drip irrigation. Objective 3: Develop sustainable agricultural water reuse systems to protect soil/environmental health of drainage impacted soils when using poor quality water. Objective 4: Develop effective, practical, economical, and environmentally acceptable approaches to replace methyl bromide as a pre-plant soil fumigant in ornamental and strawberry production systems. Subobjective 4A - Develop dose response data in the laboratory for the emerging chemicals compared to methyl bromide and currently available alternative chemicals for control of the various soilborne plant pathogens. Subobjective 4B - Evaluate the efficacy of the emerging chemicals for the production of field-grown ornamental and strawberry crops. Objective 5: Develop various application methods, soil amendments, and physical barriers to reduce the emissions and enhance efficacy of the chemical alternatives to methyl bromide. Subobjective 5A - Develop new fumigant application methods to enhance deep penetration in the soil profile. Subobjective 5B - Determine whether use of totally impermeable film (TIF) tarp can be used to reduce fumigant emissions, improve fumigant efficacy, and reduce fumigant rates. Subobjective 5C - Use opaque laminated white plastic film for weed control and improved water use efficiency in a pomegranate orchard.

Using weighing lysimeters and precision water and nutrient application through micro irrigation systems to assess water, nutrient, crop yield and quality, and deep percolation relationships for annual crops and perennial horticultural crops. Use field studies to develop sustainable cropping systems in areas with restricted drainage discharge, and to determine the impact of management practices on soil salinity, groundwater and drain water quality and quantity, and crop yield. Determine, through greenhouse and field studies, the ability of crop species to tolerate and accumulate selenium, boron, and other constituents found in arid saline soils and shallow groundwater. Field studies to determine water requirements and deficit irrigation strategies will be used to determine the sustainable production of biofuel crops. Determine soil microbial structure following fumigation in ornamental and strawberry production systems using field trials and laboratory measurements. Use laboratory dose response studies to evaluate emerging chemicals as alternatives to methyl bromide for controlling pathogens and weeds. Determine pathogen and weed control efficacy of emerging chemicals as alternatives to methyl bromide in field trials. Test spot injection and spot plus carbonation as new fumigant application methods to enhance deep penetration in the soil for nematode control in orchard replant trials. Determine surface barriers with TIF tarp and reduced dosage for emission reductions and enhanced pest control efficacy in field trials.