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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 #371760

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

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Are crop coefficients for SDI different from those for sprinkler irrigation application?

item Evett, Steven - Steve
item Marek, Gary
item Colaizzi, Paul
item Brauer, David
item HOWELL, SR., TERRY - Retired ARS Employee

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2021
Publication Date: 12/6/2021
Citation: Evett, S.R., Marek, G.W., Colaizzi, P.D., Brauer, D.K., Howell, Sr., T.A. 2021. Are crop coefficients for SDI different from those for sprinkler irrigation application [abstract]? Pre-recorded video presentation, ASABE/IA 6th Decennial National Irrigation Symposium, December 6-10, 2021, San Diego, CA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) has become an important irrigation application method in the U.S. Southern High Plains where pan evaporation exceeds 2,400 mm per year. Early research comparing SDI with spray sprinklers showed that SDI was over irrigated when scheduling irrigations using crop coefficients developed using sprinkler irrigation. Thus, crop coefficients developed using SDI may be smaller than those developed using sprinkler irrigation. Grain corn was grown for two years on large, precision weighing lysimeters at Bushland, TX, with two lysimeters irrigated by SDI and two by mid elevation spray (MESA) irrigation. Crop coefficients developed for SDI (Kc_SDI) were compared with those developed for MESA (Kc_MESA) using ASCE standardized reference ET equations. The value of Kc_SDI ranged from 0.83 to 0.89 of Kc_MESA for the two years. Values of Kc_SDI remained consistently less than Kc_MESA even after maximum leaf area index was reached, indicating that considerable evaporative loss from the soil surface occurred with MESA irrigation even after full canopy cover. If we shortened the initial period after planting from 30 to 20 d, following FAO56 recommendations for surface drip irrigation under full-cover plastic mulch resulted in calculated basal Kc (Kcb) values that were reasonably close to our Kc values based on short crop reference ET (ETo) for the crop development and early mid-season periods but were greater than our data for the later mid-season and late season periods.