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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327758

Title: A comparison of precision mobile drip irrigation, LESA and LEPA

item O`Shaughnessy, Susan
item Colaizzi, Paul

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2016
Publication Date: 6/26/2016
Citation: Oshaughnessy, S.A., Colaizzi, P.D. 2016. A comparison of precision mobile drip irrigation, LESA and LEPA. Meeting Abstract. High Plains Water District Conference, Lubbock, TX.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Precision mobile drip irrigation (PMDI) is a surface drip irrigation system fitted onto moving sprinkler systems that applies water through the driplines as they are dragged across the field. This application method can conserve water by limiting runoff, and reducing evaporative losses since the water is applied directly on the ground at low flows. However, the ability of this system to conserve water compared with common sprinkler application methods in the Texas High Plains region is unknown. In this 2015 study, the response of a corn hybrid, Pioneer Aquamax P9697AM, was compared between PMDI, low elevation spray application (LESA) and low energy precision application (LEPA) in zones located near the pivot point (with flows at 1 gpm) and in the fifth span (with flows approaching 4 gpm) on a center pivot sprinkler. The results demonstrated that dry grain and biomass yields, and seasonal crop water use were similar for all treatments. Water use efficiency was significantly greater for LESA as compared with LEPA, but not significantly different from PMDI plots. Kernel weight, kernels per ear, and harvest index were similar across treatments. The advantages of PMDI application was that runoff was minimized and this application method was able to produce yields similar in amounts to the LESA application method. However, since annual rainfall was three times greater than typical seasonal rainfall amounts making evaporative demand low, more studies are needed to analyze the benefits of PMDI over common application methods during seasons of average rainfall and under drought conditions.