Location: National Peanut Research LaboratoryTitle: Agronomic and economic effects of irrigation and rotation in peanut-based cropping systems
Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2020
Publication Date: 12/31/2020
Citation: Lamb, M.C., Sorensen, R.B., Butts, C.L. 2020. Agronomic and Economic Effects of Irrigation and Rotation in Peanut-based Cropping Systems. Peanut Science. 47(3): 173–179. https://doi.org/10.3146/PS20-10.1.
Interpretive Summary: Irrigation and crop rotation sequencing are key components of agricultural cropping systems in achieving optimal yield, quality and net economic returns. A long term study focusing on the agronomic and economic affected of irrigated versus non-irrigated production in six different cropping systems including peanut, corn, and cotton was conducted in Georgia from 2001 through 2017 at the USDA/ARS Multi-crop Irrigation Research Farm in Shellman, GA. The objective of this long-term study is to evaluate the effects of irrigation and crop rotation sequencing consisting of peanut, corn, and cotton on yield and net economic returns to both variable and total costs. Analysis included the entire study period and was also separated for years with below and above average rainfall. Irrigation was found to be the most important factor in achieving optimal crop yield and economic returns followed by crop rotation sequencing.
Technical Abstract: Although the Southeast U.S. receives an average annual precipitation of 1300 mm, crop yields are often limited by erratic seasonal rainfall distributions. Studies were conducted from 2001 through 2017 at the USDA/ARS Multi-crop Irrigation Research Farm in Shellman, Georgia (84'36' W, 30'44' N) on a Greenville fine sandy loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Rhodic Kandiudults). The objective of this long-term study is to evaluate the effects of irrigation and crop rotation sequencing consisting of peanut, corn, and cotton on yield and net economic returns to both variable and total costs. Analysis included the entire study period and was also separated for years with below and above average rainfall. When averaged across all years, irrigation increased peanut, corn, and cotton yield and net returns compared with non-irrigation. Six different rotation sequences were addressed inclusive of continuous peanut, one year out of peanut with corn or cotton, and two years out of peanut with combinations of corn and cotton. In both irrigated and non-irrigated peanuts, the least and greatest yields were from continuous peanut and the two year out rotations, respectively. No peanut yield difference resulted with corn or cotton rotation partners for the rotation sequence. Length of rotation between peanut years did influence peanut yield and net returns. Profitability and optimal rotation sequence within any cropping system depended on irrigation, yield, crop price, and production costs for peanut, corn, and cotton.