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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Sustainable Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380117

Research Project: Development of Sustainable Water Management Technologies for Humid Regions

Location: Sustainable Water Management Research

Title: Profitability of twin-row planting and skip-row irrigations in a humid climate

item QUINTANA-ASHWELL, NIOLAS - Mississippi State University
item Anapalli, Saseendran
item PINNAMANENI, SRINIVASA - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item KAUR, GURPREET - Mississippi State University
item Reddy, Krishna
item Fisher, Daniel

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/18/2021
Publication Date: 9/2/2021
Citation: Quintana-Ashwell, N., Anapalli, S.S., Pinnamaneni, S.R., Kaur, G., Reddy, K.N., Fisher, D.K. 2021. Profitability of twin-row planting and skip-row irrigations in a humid climate. Agronomy Journal. 114(2):1209-1219.

Interpretive Summary: We recently tested the water-saving potential of skip-row irrigations under twin-row cotton and soybean plantings against the traditional all-row irrigations single-row plantings in the Lower Mississippi Delta. These innovative agronomic management practices, while improving water productivity, also can contribute to higher crop profitability for farmers. A collaborative study between USDA ARS scientists and the Mississippi University economists revealed that (1) converting from full to skip-row irrigation improved risk-return for cotton, (2) skip-row irrigation improved risk-return for twin-row soybean, (3) skip-row irrigation worsened risk-return for single-row soybean, (4) skip-row irrigation costs, soybean farmers, $3.35 per inch of the saved water.

Technical Abstract: We assessed the potential profitability of twin-row (TR) planting geometry as a water productivity-enhancing and of skip-row irrigation (SRI) as a water-saving practice in furrow-irrigated cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and soybean (Glycine max L.). Data from agronomic experiments carried on Dundee silt loam soils indicates that, on average, TR planting increases profitability by US$344 ha-1 for all-row irrigated (ARI), $401 ha-1 for SRI, and $285 ha-1 for rainfed (RF) cotton. For soybean, the gains were $261 ha-1 for ARI irrigated, $290 ha-1 for SRI and $228 ha-1 for RF. Converting from ARI to SRI irrigation can conserve 88 mm of irrigation water on average for cotton and 91 mm of irrigation water on average for soybean (Pinnamaneni et al., 2020a,b), while improving cotton profits by between $55 ha-1 and $113 ha-1. Soybean growers can expect a reduction in profits from SRI of approximately $11 ha-1. Incentive payment for soybean growers of around $0.132 mm-1 of saved water would compensate farmers for the expected losses of adopting SRI in the Delta of Mississippi.