Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Colaizzi, P.D., Evett, S.R., Howell, T.A. 2006. Cotton production with SDI, LEPA, and spray irrigation in a thermally-limited climate. International Water & Irrigation. 26(1):10-12, 14.
Technical Abstract: Producers in the Northern Texas Panhandle and Southwestern Kansas are considering cotton as an alternative crop to corn because cotton has a similar profit potential for about one-half the irrigation requirement. However, limited growing degree days pose some risk for cotton production. We hypothesized that cotton under subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) would undergo less evaporative cooling following an irrigation event compared with low energy precision applicators (LEPA) or spray irrigation and, therefore, would increase growing degree day accumulation and lead to earlier maturation. Cotton maturity was more related to irrigation rate than irrigation method, with dryland and minimal irrigation rates reaching maturity earliest. However, fiber quality, as indicated by total discount, was usually better with SDI. Lint yield and water use efficiency were greatest with SDI at low irrigation rates in 2003, and lint yield and gross returns were greatest with SDI regardless of irrigation rate in 2004.