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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New technologies to improve crop water use efficiencies

item Evans, Robert
item Sadler, Edward - John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2006
Publication Date: 2/15/2007
Citation: Evans, R.G., Sadler, E.J. 2007. New Technologies to Improve Crop Water Use Efficiencies [CD-ROM]. S164. Lawrence Media.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The competition for existing freshwater supplies will require a paradigmatic shift from maximizing productivity per unit of land area to maximizing productivity per unit of water consumed. This shift, in turn, will demand broad systems approaches that physically and biologically optimize irrigation relative to water delivery and application schemes, rainfall, critical growth stages, soil fertility, location, and weather. Agricultural advances will include implementation of crop location strategies, conversion to crops with higher economic or productivity per unit of water consumed, and adoption of alternate drought tolerant crops. Emerging computerized GPS-based precision irrigation technologies for self-propelled sprinklers and microirrigation systems will enable growers to apply water and agrichemicals site-specifically to match soil and plant status and needs as provided by wireless sensor networks. Agriculturalists will need to exercise flexibility in managing the rate, frequency, and duration of water supplies to optimally allocate limited water and other inputs to crops. Nonagricultural water users will need to exercise patience as tools reflecting the paradigmatic shift are actualized. At a minimum both groups will need to cooperate and compromise as they practice more conservative approaches to freshwater consumption. Key Words: Water use efficiency, irrigation, irrigation systems, water scarcity, deficit irrigation, water management

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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