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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Jonesboro, Arkansas » Delta Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #432363

Research Project: Assessing water quality of runoff in irrigated rice systems in the Mid-South, Unites States

Location: Delta Water Management Research

Project Number: 6024-13000-003-41-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2017
End Date: May 31, 2020

Objective:
The main goal of this proposal is to provide baseline information on nutrient and sediment losses from runoff in conventional and conservation row cropping systems in the Lower Mississippi River Basin. The specific objectives are: 1. To quantify soluble nutrients from runoff associated with conventional and conservation row cropping systems 2. To quantify soil sediment losses from runoff in irrigated cropped fields 3. To measure other physico-chemical characteristics of runoff water in cropped fields. 4. To relate crop yield to nutrient losses. The specific objectives are: 1. To quantify soluble nutrients from runoff associated with key locations. 2. To quantify soil sediment losses from runoff associated with key locations. 3. To measure other physio-chemical characteristics of runoff water in key locations.

Approach:
The study sites for the work described will be at three sites: Whittaker Farms near DeWitt, Arkansas, and Florenden Farm near Burdette, Arkansas. The Whittaker system is dominated by rice/soybean rotation on a heavy clay soil. The Florenden Farm is a large rice/soybean farm where sampling will occur from production sized fields. The majority of these sites are currently enrolled in conservation practices sponsored by the Rice Stewardship Partnership, and the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The Whittaker Farm system will be sampled weekly at seven locations during the irrigation season for approximately 112 samples for the season. Sampling locations include one inlet, reservoir, three interior and two outlet sites. Sampling at Whittaker Farms in 2017 will be year two of a three-year study. The Florenden Farm sampling will occur on 16 40-acre fields on a replicated block design. The treatment tested is irrigation management and will be cascade, multiple inlet irrigation, multiple-inlet irrigation with alternate wetting and drying, and row irrigated rice. Sampling will occur weekly for the season from all fields.