Location: Sustainable Water Management ResearchTitle: Variable rate irrigation management in Mississippi Delta
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Developing Variable rate irrigation VRI practice and documenting the benefits of VRI to producers are critical to accelerate the adoption of VRI technologies. A method was developed to generate VRI maps using soil apparent electrical conductivity (EC). Comparison of VRI with uniform rate irrigation (URI) was studied for two years (2016-2017) in soybean crops and three (2016-2018) years in corn crops. A centre pivot VRI system was employed for delivering irrigation water. Soil EC of the fields was mapped and used to delineate VRI management zones and create VRI prescriptions. Irrigation was scheduled using soil moisture content measured by soil moisture sensors. Crop yield and irrigation water productivity (WP) in VRI treatments were determined and compared to those in URI. Results indicated that VRI treatment saved irrigation water up to 30% without yield difference in comparison with URI. In average, VRI had higher WP than URI. Soil EC coupled with soil physical properties could be used to delineate VRI management zones. Development of novel algorithms with more inputs to site-specifically determine appropriate amount of water to apply is a major challenge facing VRI industry.