Processing of 2019 Test Data for Evaluating Smart Irrigation
Mark A. Crookston, P.E., Rain First LLC.

This proposed project is for completion of the 2019 study of 24 residential irrigation controllers installed at the IIC (Irrigation Innovation Consortium) near Fort Collins, Colorado. Each controller was configured for managing irrigation of the same six landscape zones. Start-time, stop-time and run-time data for each zone (144 total zones) were collected from mid-July through early-November, providing a 90-day plus study period. Corresponding data from three weather stations in northeastern Colorado were utilized. Two to three replicates of each controller model were incorporated, each using a different weather station, when possible. Controllers utilizing onsite sensors only used a single weather station.

Evaluating WISE Performance for Corn when Updated with Remote Sensing-based Actual Crop Coefficients: Full and Deficit
José L. Chávez, Allan A. Andales, & A.J. Brown, Colorado State University

Overall objective: to evaluate remote sensing-based crop coefficients for use in the Colorado State University WISE irrigation scheduling tool for fully and deficit irrigated corn.

a)  Calculate actual crop coefficients using three different remote sensing-based methods (i.e., land surface energy balance, crop water stress index, and reflectance-based Kc),

b)  Calculate sensible and latent heat fluxes using an Eddy Covariance energy balance station and an aerodynamic profile tower,

c)  Calculate daily soil water deficits using a soil water content sensor network and a neutron probe instrument,

d)  Use WISE tool to estimate ETc and ETa with the different remote sensing-based Kca,

e)  Evaluate WISE ET and soil water deficits output using data from items (b) and (c) above.

Monitoring Edge-of-Field (EOF) Water Quality in Surface-Irrigated Sugarbeets: Identifying BMPs for Reducing Nutrient
Jay Ham & Erik Wardle, Colorado State University


The objectives of this project are:

  1. Build and test a low-cost, internet-connected water sampler  to economically monitor EOF water quality from sugarbeet fields. (This phase is currently underway at the IIC Headquarters) 
  2. Deploy the EOF monitors at multiple sugarbeet fields in NE Colorado (and possibly WY) over a three-year period to quantify the magnitude and quality of the runoff under a wide range of conditions (soil type and moisture conditions, residue and fertility management, irrigation methods/rates, etc.). The initial focus will be on surface irrigated fields. Sites will be selected with the assistance of WSC staff, agriculturists and members.
  3. Measure the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment losses in runoff and correlate these results with field conditions and cropping history at the time of the runoff event or irrigation. Identify which management practices result in the lowest rates of nutrient runoff. Combine runoff data with the data on fertilizer applications to infer relative nutrient use efficiency.
  4.  Develop outreach materials for producers and agronomist that    recommend voluntary BMPs for minimizing nutrient runoff during sugarbeet production.