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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346728

Research Project: Improving Irrigation Management and Water Quality for Humid and Sub-humid Climates

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Influence of irrigation pattern on effectiveness of furrow irrigation of cotton

Author
item Vories, Earl - Earl
item JONES, ANDREA - Phytogen Seed Company

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2018
Publication Date: 12/1/2018
Citation: Vories, E.D., Jones, A.S. 2018. Influence of irrigation pattern on effectiveness of furrow irrigation of cotton. Journal of Cotton Science. 22(3):153-161.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is one of the major crops in the U.S. Mid-South and producers in the region often farm numerous fields spread over a large area. While sufficient groundwater is available for irrigation in most areas, the supply and cost of labor is always a concern and producers commonly manage irrigation to reduce time and labor; however, they are concerned about reducing yields due to irrigation management. A study was conducted by ARS scientists and university cooperators at the University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center near Portageville to investigate the impact of furrow irrigation management on cotton yield. While yield loss due to waterlogging is a concern in the region, it did not appear to impact the findings in this study. Additional studies conducted in conjunction with producers will be helpful to extend the findings of this study and the results of the study will aid cotton producers to improve their irrigation practices, resulting in more efficient use of water resources.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is one of the major crops in the U.S. Mid-South and producers in the region often farm numerous fields spread over a large area. While sufficient groundwater is available for surface irrigation in many areas, the supply and cost of labor is always a concern and producers commonly employ patterns such as every-other-furrow irrigation to allow them to irrigate fields in one set. In many years there is sufficient rainfall that no obvious deleterious effect is observed but producers are concerned about reducing yields. A study was conducted at the University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center near Portageville to investigate the impact of different furrow irrigation patterns on cotton yield. While yield loss due to waterlogging is a concern in the region, in 2014, with four irrigations followed by = 25 mm of rain within the subsequent three days, all irrigated plots yielded significantly more seed cotton than the rainfed treatment. Canopy temperature, plant height, and NDVI were all effective at differentiating between the irrigated and rainfed treatments and even differences among some of the irrigated treatments. Additional studies conducted in conjunction with producers would extend the findings and also address issues of scale that were not considered in this study.