Location: Soil and Water Management ResearchTitle: Improving irrigation water productivity in cotton using mobile drip irrigation technology
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cotton can be a lucrative crop for farmers in the Texas High Plains region. However, improving irrigation water productivity (IWP) is critical due to limited water supplies for agriculture and decreasing well capacity on many center pivot fields in the region. Mobile drip irrigation (MDI) technology, which applies water directly on the soil using pressure compensated emitter driplines may improve IWP and lint quality. However, limited studies have been conducted using MDI technology in cotton. Preliminary data from a 2021 study of cotton (Phytogen 210) grown in Bushland, Texas, using MDI and LESA (low elevation spray application) at three irrigation levels (designated I75, I50 and I25, representing 75%, 50% and 25% of full crop water use). Results indicated that lint yield, IWP and lint quality (based on overall monetary return per acre) were significantly greater for cotton in the MDI I50 and I25 treatments at the p < 0.05, p < 0.10 and p < 0.05 levels, respectively. At the I75 level, results were similar between irrigation application methods. Further studies are needed to assess if the results are consistent in different years and to compare MDI with a greater number of driplines with narrower spacing, which would reduce the required length of the driplines and simplify MDI management.