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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #294323

Title: A historical perspective of VR water management for improved crop production

Author
item Sadler, Edward
item O`Shaughnessy, Susan
item Vories, Earl - Earl
item Stone, Kenneth - Ken
item PERRY, CALVIN - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2013
Publication Date: 11/3/2013
Citation: Sadler, E.J., Oshaughnessy, S.A., Vories, E.D., Stone, K.C., Perry, C.D. 2013. A historical perspective of VR water management for improved crop production. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. 42-1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Variable-rate water management, or the combination of precision agriculture technology and irrigation, has been enabled by many of the same technologies as other precision agriculture tools. However, adding variable-rate capability to existing irrigation equipment design, or designing new equipment with built-in capability, posed a number of challenges and opportunities. Technical hurdles included design of variable-rate nozzles, nozzle flow rate and uniformity control, matching variable frequency drive controllers with irrigation pump systems, input from distributed sensors to inform control, and added system and management complexity. Economic benefits were not always apparent. Prototype variable-rate irrigation equipment was developed at a number of research locations represented in the author list, with substantial advances in research equipment during the 1990’s and early on-farm and commercial equipment during the first decade of the 2000’s. Much of the development and adoption paralleled the adoption of broader precision agriculture technology. This presentation will summarize technological developments in this field, provide examples of factors which steered the need for variable-rate irrigation, and summarize results from research on agronomic, economic and environmental outcomes. It will also provide an overview of the current state of the commercial art for variable-rate irrigation.