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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 #352871

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

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Determining planting date effects on seasonal water use of full and short season maize using SWAT in the southern Ogallala Aquifer region

Author
item Marek, Gary
item Chen, Yong - Texas A&M University
item Marek, Thomas - Texas Agrilife Research
item Moorhead, Jerry - Jed
item Heflin, Kevin - Texas Agrilife Research
item Brauer, David - Dave

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2018
Publication Date: 7/31/2018
Citation: Marek, G.W., Chen, Y., Marek, T.H., Moorhead, J.E., Heflin, K.R., Brauer, D.K. 2018. Determining planting date effects on seasonal water use of full and short season maize using SWAT in the southern Ogallala Aquifer region [abstract]. ASABE Annual International Meeting. Paper No. 1800949.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer is used to supplement inadequate precipitation for optimal maize production in the Texas High Plains. Decreasing water levels threaten the continued production of maize and other water intensive crops. Potential consequences include negative impacts on crop production, the regional beef cattle feeding industry, and ancillary industries, posing an overall threat to national food security. Water saving technologies such as advances in irrigation scheduling techniques and improved irrigation application efficiencies have resulted in improved water productivity. However, other improvements are needed to ensure the sustainable use of groundwater in the region. The deferment of planting date of maize may benefit from decreased evapotranspiration rates and increased seasonal precipitation, allowing producers to maintain or possibly increase maize yields while using less groundwater. A regionally calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to evaluate relative seasonal irrigation, yield, and precipitation values associated with full and short-season maize varieties for four planting dates using forty years of historical weather data. Resulting data may yield alternative management strategies for maize in this increasingly water scarce region as well as for other semi-arid regions in the world.