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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Sustainable Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #430848

Research Project: Development of Methods for Creating Variable Rate Irrigation Prescriptions

Location: Sustainable Water Management Research

Project Number: 6066-13000-005-01-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 2, 2016
End Date: May 31, 2021

Objective:
The objective of this research is to conduct analysis and integration of soil properties and plant water stress for creating variable rate irrigation prescriptions.

Approach:
Collaborative research will be conducted jointly between USDA ARS Crop Production System Research Unit (CPSRU), Stoneville, MS, and College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering (CWRCE), China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing, China. Field experiments and data analysis relevant to this research will be conducted at locations of the two parties. Soil properties and nutrient concentration in experimental plots will be measured. The plots of various crops including corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa will be irrigated and or fertigated in different rates and timing using variable rate irrigation systems. Soil moisture and plant physiological characteristics will be measured during the season. Weather data will be recorded in the two diverse climatic zones, Stoneville, USA and Beijing, China. All data collected will be analyzed to seek algorithms for site-specifically determining plant water stress indices and plant water needs. The algorithms will be used to create VRI prescriptions for variable rate irrigation and fertigation.