Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319968

Title: Practical implications of applied irrigation research

item Marek, Gary
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Evett, Steven - Steve
item O`Shaughnessy, Susan
item Brauer, David - Dave

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2015
Publication Date: 1/15/2015
Citation: Marek, G.W., Gowda, P., Evett, S.R., Oshaughnessy, S.A., Brauer, D.K. 2015. Practical implications of applied irrigation research. Power Point Presentation at the High Plains Irrigation Conference, January 15, 2015, Amarillo Civic Center.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Groundwater is essential to irrigated agriculture in the semi-arid Texas High Plains. Concerns over groundwater depletion have led to increased emphasis on water conservation. Irrigation scheduling coupled with accurate crop water use (ET) estimation is one of the most effective means to both conserve and maximize production from groundwater resources. However, accurate localized crop-specific ET can be difficult and expensive to measure. Scientists in the Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU) at the USDA-ARS Conservation and production (CPRL) at Bushland, TX are working to evaluate indirect ET estimation methods by comparison to ET values from large weighing lysimeters. Current ET measurement research efforts include Eddy Covariance (EC) systems, scintillometry, and remote-sensed satellite ET mapping. Future plans include feasibility of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery to provide high resolution, field-specific ET. Additionally, soil moisture sensing technologies are being evaluated for use in automated irrigation scheduling and application. Platforms include wireless soil moisture profile sensors and Infrared thermometer (IRT) technologies. Accurate, site-specific ET estimation is a prerequisite for effective irrigation scheduling that can both maximize profitability and water conservation. The work by SWMRU researchers to evaluate ET and soil moisture measurement technologies is important to determining both the efficacy and adoption of these technologies