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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320708

Research Project: Integration of Site-Specific Crop Production Practices and Industrial and Animal Agricultural Byproducts to Improve Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainability

Location: Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research

Title: Soil water sensor-based and evapotranspiration-based irrigation scheduling for soybean production on a Blackland Prairie soil in humid climate

Author
item Feng, Gary
item Read, John
item Ouyang, Ying - Us Forest Service (FS)
item Adeli, Ardeshir
item Reginelli, Dennis - Mississippi State Extension Service
item Jenkins, Johnie

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In east-central Mississippi, annual rainfall was 1307 mm and reference evapotranspiration (ETo) was 1210 mm for the 120-year period from 1894 to 2014. From May to October, when major crops are typically grown in this area, monthly rainfall ranged from 72 to 118 mm, and monthly ETo from 94 to 146 mm which corresponds to a monthly rainfall deficit of 22 to 62 mm. Periods of drought during crop growth season support evidence that irrigation can stabilize economic return and increase crop yield by at least 20% in the region. The Blackland Prairie of northeast and east-central Mississippi accounts for 14% of Mississippi state crop lands. Across the state, soybean acreage was increased by 24% from 2008 to 2014, and irrigated acreage was increased by 20% from 2011 to 2012. Growers interested in irrigation systems are obviously eager to learn when and how much to water is needed by crops. Wide spreading irrigated land and improper irrigation scheduling due to lack of enough knowledge and right tool have resulted in serious issue of agricultural water availability. To determine better irrigation scheduling method for soils in the Blackland Prairie of humid southeastern USA, two commonly used irrigation scheduling methods, soil moisture via in-situ sensors (SM) and evapotranspiration (ET), were evaluated at Brooksville Experiment Stations of Mississippi State University. Three treatments with four replicates, SM, ET and rainfed (RF) were completely randomized to four blocks on a Brooksville silty clay soil in a three-acre, furrow-irrigated field. A group IV soybean cultivar, Asgrow 4632, was planted at 120,000 seeds per acre in a 1-m row spacing on May 19, 2015. Soil water content and potential in the layers of 0-15 cm, 15-30 cm, 30-45 cm and 45-60 cm were measured using TDR and Watermark sensors in each plot (6 rows × 111 m). Soil was sampled at these same layers and a pressure extracted was used to measure soil water content at field capacity (FC, 33 kPa) and wilting point (WP, 1500 kPa). Then Management Allowable Depletion (MAD) curve in soybean dynamic rooting zone was determined as 50% of the measured plant available water (difference between FC and WP water content). In the SM treatment, we compared daily soil water storage in rooting.