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IMPROVING IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT Earl Vories, Agricultural Engineer USDA-ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit Portageville, MO Translating.

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Presentation on theme: "IMPROVING IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT Earl Vories, Agricultural Engineer USDA-ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit Portageville, MO Translating."— Presentation transcript:

1 IMPROVING IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT Earl Vories, Agricultural Engineer USDA-ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit Portageville, MO Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

2 Disclaimer Mention of trade names or commercial products is solely for purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

3 Improving Irrigation Management for Humid and Subhumid Climates Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO Goal Our goal is to develop solutions to broad water management problems with application to humid and sub-humid areas in the USA and the world.

4 Participating Scientists Agricultural Research Service Earl Vories - Lead Scientist John Sadler Ken Sudduth Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

5 Participating Scientists University of Missouri Joe Henggeler - Principal Investigator Allen Thompson Gene Stevens David Dunn Andrea Jones Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

6 Lower Mississippi (WRA 08) Portions of Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana 11.4 million acres of farmland Primarily subhumid climate Average annual rainfall > 40 inches Mid-South Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

7 49% furrow 29% flood 21% center pivot Mid-South irrigation methods Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

8 Top Mid-South states in 2008 irrigated area Arkansas 4.5 million acres (4 th ) 675,000 acre 10-year increase (2 nd largest) Mississippi 1.5 million acres (12 th ) 259,000 acre 10-year increase (4 th largest) Missouri 1.2 million acres (13 th ) 279,000 acre 10-year increase (3 rd largest) Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

9 Missouri - 97% Mississippi - 95% Tennessee - 81% Arkansas - 80% Louisiana - 76% Kentucky - 61% Most Mid-South irrigation water from groundwater Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

10 Improving Irrigation Management for Humid and Subhumid Climates Objectives: 1.Evaluate and optimize production systems to optimize water use efficiency under variable weather conditions. 2.Evaluate the suitability of variable-rate center pivot irrigation (part of multi-location effort). 3.Evaluate the quality of runoff from irrigated cropland. Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

11 Minimizing water use for rice production: rice field water monitoring sprinkler irrigated rice comparing production systems developing and refining crop coefficients determining water/yield relationship Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

12 Mid-South farmers grew 60% of total US rice crop in 2003 (USDA-NASS, 2004) Mostly produced in flooded culture Generally requires more irrigation water than other crops produced in the region Published estimate for Arkansas: 760 mm, based on several years of on-farm observations Vories et al. (2006) reported mm for 33 Arkansas fields during 2003 through 2005 Smith et al. (2006) reported mm in Mississippi in 2003 and 2004 Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

13 Floodwater depth sensor Float-switch type sensors used in 2008 (high or low). Other experimental sensors will be tested to provide information about actual depth of water, not just high or low. Sensors being developed as part of another project (e.g., fuel flow, dynamic water table depth) will be included. Prototype depth sensor Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

14 Conclusions – surface irrigation monitoring Remote monitoring could aid farmers in managing surface irrigation. Ag conditions/environment present challenges for designing/constructing sensors that will last whole season (preferably multiple seasons). Testing/improving with rice has continued. Working with furrow again. Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

15 Center pivot rice production Rice production under center pivot irrigation investigated in 1980's Problems precluded adoption poor weed control disease (blast) towers got stuck low yield (maybe due to others) Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

16 Center Pivot Rice Production renewed interest, US and internationally improved cultivars and hybrids additional herbicides and fungicides improved tower/sprinkler arrangements Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

17 If we grow rice like other crops, we have to consider irrigation scheduling Irrigation scheduling more difficult in sub- humid regions than arid Clouds, rainfall, temperature swings all complicate irrigation scheduling Weather conditions vary greatly year to year and within year Most scheduling methods measure or estimate soil water content highly variable soils limited measurements Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

18 Basal Rice Crop Coefficient, Short Grass Reference FAO 56 - assuming 5 days planting to emergence Arkansas Irrigation Scheduler beta version Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

19 Center Pivot Rice Study Area Showing Soil Mapping Units Soil Mapping Units Dd = Dundee sandy loam De = Dundee silt loam Re = Reelfoot loam Rf = Reelfoot sandy loam Tp = Tiptonville silt loam Water savings (relative to flood) not always goal; sometimes goal to bring rice into crop rotation Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

20 Real-time Weather at University of Mo. Fisher Delta Research Center Marsh Farm (http://agebb.missouri.edu/wea ther/realtime/portageville.asp) Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

21 Estimated SWD, rainfall and irrigation between emergence and final irrigation Irrigation first: 6/19 final: 9/11 34 d mm Rain during irrigation period 31 d -296 mm Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

22 Watermark sensors Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

23 Summary & Conclusions AIS appeared to respond as expected and yields from different studies suggested crop not drought stressed AIS and Watermark data suggested more irrigation water may have been applied than necessary for optimal crop growth Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

24 Summary & Conclusions Current phase uses beta version of AIS to schedule irrigations Soil moisture sensors to indicate how well the AIS describes soil moisture Data should indicate whether current crop coefficient is adequate Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

25 Off-the-shelf and aftermarket systems available for variable rate (VR) application of seed, lime, fertilizer, pesticides, plant growth regulators, and defoliants. Cannot realize the full potential of those benefits if we do not properly manage water. Precision irrigation Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

26 Irrigation Management Approaches (non site-specific) Ensure that the smallest water holding capacity receives adequate water Match the needs of the average (or largest) soil water conditions Limit applications to avoid overwatering the wettest areas In all cases, parts of the field are either over- or under-irrigated Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

27 change travel speed; unable to vary application rate along pipeline Some VR capability off the shelf Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

28 VR Irrigation Potential Benefits Improve irrigation management/efficiency (dont under- or over-water) Reduce nutrient leaching/runoff (not over- watering) Reduce disease (not stressing portions of field) Increase yields Optimize pumping costs; save water/energy Future regulatory benefits Can we have site-specific management (precision agriculture) for irrigation? Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

29 Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) University of Georgia, with Farmscan (Australia), developed a distributed control system – Variable-Rate Irrigation Valmont and Lindsay both have VRI systems Use pneumatic (Georgia), hydraulic (Valmont), or electric (Lindsay) valves to vary sprinklers from 100% (always on) to 0% (always off) or used pulsing for rates in between Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

30 Layout center pivot configuration Determine fixed or variable length zones Layout control zones Review hydraulics Develop Zone Control Package

31 Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO On-farm VRI field

32 EC a (mS/m) DualEM Deep (0 - ~9) Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

33 Valley VRI Zone Control Prescription Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

34 Field on May 9, 2011

35 Working toward real-time VRI soil moisture sensor thermocouple or other temperature sensor datalogger, transmitter interrogator pivot point Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

36 Global Positioning System Infrared Thermometer (canopy temperature) Crop Circle GreenSeeker Air Temperature and Relative Humidity Pyranometer (sunlight) Ultrasonic (crop height) Instrumentation for Sensing Drought and Nutrient Stresses Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

37 Potential Roadblocks For Implementing VRI Cost (in todays economic situation) Farm Bill includes potential cost-share funds Potential for lightning damage Technology is new Fairly steep learning curve Pressure fluctuations when sprinklers or end gun cycled - pumps need to match changing conditions (steep vs. flat pump curves) Age / diversity of current pivot systems Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

38 Determining nutrient content of runoff from surface drained land Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

39 Irrigated crops, especially rice Surface, rather than subsurface drainage that has been studied more Do controlled drainage principles from surface drainage apply in this region? Exploratory work began in January 2006 Current effort started in June 2011 Why Southeast Missouri? Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

40 Findings Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO

41 Future Plans – runoff monitoring Refine ratings curves Define watersheds Begin event sampling

42 After a year like 2012, easy to forget that irrigation is just one component in the production system Also have to optimize drainage cultivar selection weed control fertility Final thought: Irrigation alone is not enough! Translating Missouri USDA-ARS Research and Technology into Practice A training session provided by USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, October 2012, Columbia, MO


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