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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #372111

Research Project: Development of Economically Important Row Crops that Improve the Resilience of U.S. Agricultural Production to Present and Future Production Challenges

Location: Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research

Title: Field assessment of a wireless sensor network in determining cotton water stress and irrigation requirement

item MEHATA, MUKESH - Oklahoma State University
item TAGHVAEIAN, SALEH - Oklahoma State University
item Mahan, James
item BARNES, EDWARD - Cotton, Inc

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2020
Publication Date: 2/14/2020
Citation: Mehata, M., Taghvaeian, S., Mahan, J.R., Barnes, E. 2020. Field assessment of a wireless sensor network in determining cotton water stress and irrigation requirement. ASABE Annual International Meeting. Presentation. Omaha, NE, July 12-15, 2020.

Interpretive Summary: The irrigation of crops requires information on 1) when to irrigate and 2) how much to irrigate. In this study the use of plant temperature to determine when to irrigate has been investigated. This study used a commercially available system to make irrigation decisions in irrigated cotton in Altus Oklahoma. The irrigation information provided by the system was compared to the methods commonly used by cotton producers in the region. The results suggest that the producer methods result in some over-irrigation. It is proposed that the use of a commercially available device could result in savings of irrigation water.

Technical Abstract: Irrigated cotton occupied about 3.7 million acres of U.S. farmland in 2018, mostly in regions where freshwater availability is a major risk to agricultural production. Hence, there is a great need to develop and improve advanced sensing technologies that can assist cotton producers and irrigation district managers with optimizing their irrigation scheduling. A wireless sensing system commercialized by an Australian company was installed and evaluated at five fields across an irrigation district in southwest Oklahoma. Two of the fields were under subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) and three under furrow. The sensing system installed at each field included a canopy temperature sensor, a soil moisture sensor, and a rain gauge. The collected data from each field were transferred to a base station and then to cloud servers, where cotton water stress was estimated based on the time-temperature threshold (TTT/BIOITIC) approach developed at the USDA-ARS Cropping Systems Research Laboratory at Lubbock, TX. The performance of the system was evaluated by investigating the reliability of the hardware (sensor failure, signal transfer issues, etc.) and through examining the estimated stress hours along with the root zone soil moisture and cotton evapotranspiration. The inclusion of SDI and furrow irrigated fields allowed for studying the impacts of significantly different irrigation intervals of these systems on cotton stress.