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Title: Sustaining Irrigated Agriculture In The Central High Plains With Limited Irrigation Water

item Trout, Thomas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2011
Publication Date: 7/11/2011
Citation: Trout, T.J. 2011. Sustaining Irrigated Agriculture In The Central High Plains With Limited Irrigation Water. Meeting Abstract. 2011 UCOWR/NIWR Annual Conference, Boulder, Colorado, July 12-14,2011.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Increasing demands on limited water supplies will require maximizing crop production per unit water. Field studies are being carried out to develop water production functions for crops grown in the Great Plains. Irrigation water is applied through drip irrigation systems; precipitation and reference evapotranspiration (ET) is measured with a weather station; soil water content is measured with time-domain reflectometry (TDR) and neutron probes; canopy temperatures are monitored; and growth, ground cover, biomass, and yields are measured. Yields are related to irrigation applications, crop ET, and crop transpiration. Initial results with corn, sunflower, wheat, and dry beans show linear relationships between yield and crop ET and transpiration. Crop models are being used to generalize the results. These yield per unit water relationships can be used to determine if deficit irrigation is economically desirable and how to best manage limited water supplies. Software is being developed to help farmers decide how to allocate limited water supplies and the value of their water as a commodity to lease to municipalities.