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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Research Project #441520

Research Project: Improving Irrigated Crop Management System for Humid and Sub-humid Climates

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Project Number: 5070-13610-009-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 15, 2022
End Date: Feb 14, 2027

Objective 1: Optimize production systems for irrigated cotton, corn, soybean, and rice to improve crop water productivity under variable weather and soil conditions. 1A: Develop improved methods for determining the appropriate values of field capacity for use in irrigation scheduling. 1B: Develop a database of crop canopy sensing data for calculating crop coefficient in fields with uniform soil to serve as baseline for determining site-specific crop coefficients. Objective 2: Evaluate and/or develop site-specific best management irrigation practices based on localized soil and environmental conditions to optimize crop production while minimizing water usage. 2A: Evaluate the potential for use of the ARSPivot program for variable-rate irrigation management in the sub-humid U.S. Mid-South. 2B: Document the spatial variability of crop water coefficient and other crop and soil properties in a field and how they interact to affect crop water productivity.

Our team will address impediments to the overall goal of improving performance, profitability, and sustainability of irrigated agriculture in humid and sub-humid climates. We will develop and refine tools to improve irrigation scheduling and develop improved methods for determining appropriate values for a specific soil’s field capacity, information which is essential for optimal water management. Building on our previous research and as part of a multi-location, multi-disciplinary team, we will investigate how best to achieve site-specific irrigation management through use of the ARSPivot computer program to manage mechanized irrigation systems, and observations of soil and crop variability within the field.