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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 #347868

Research Project: Precipitation and Irrigation Management to Optimize Profits from Crop Production

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Speed control variable rate irrigation

item O`Shaughnessy, Susan

Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/2/2017
Publication Date: 10/2/2017
Citation: Oshaughnessy, S.A. 2017. Speed control variable rate irrigation. Natural Resources Conservation Service Discussion on VRI Webinar. October 02, 2017. Bushland, Texas.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Speed control variable rate irrigation (VRI) is used to address within field variability by controlling a moving sprinkler’s travel speed to vary the application depth. Changes in speed are commonly practiced over areas that slope, pond or where soil texture is predominantly different. Dynamic prescription maps based on sensor feedback are beneficial to speed control VRI practices as they can improve irrigation scheduling at the management zone level. Maintaining optimal water levels in the soil profile helps to avoid overwatering which can lead to runoff or waterlogging. Excessive irrigation can also lead to nutrient losses passed the root zone, and increase crop susceptibility to disease and degrade yield quality. Sensor feedback also has the potential to limit crop water stress and prevent significant yield losses from under-irrigating. This presentation will report on the benefits of speed control VRI systems, critical components of speed control VRI systems for optimal crop water management, and a protocol for implementing irrigation management with this type of system.