|Author:||Klocke, N.L. ; Clark, R.T. ; Payero, J.O. ; Schneekloth,J.P. ; Melvin, S.R.|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
Approaches to reducing irrigation inputs to crops have been studied for the past 50 to 60 years in research settings. Fewer efforts have been made to document limited irrigation responses over a number of seasons on commercial fields. This study compared farm-based irrigation management (FARM) with best management practices (BMP), late initiation of irrigation (LATE), and a restricted allocation (ALLOC). These irrigation management strategies each occupied 1/8 of a center pivot system in southwest Nebraska in continuous corn production, on four cooperating farms, which were replicated at the same sites for 3 to 6 years. Irrigation variables were achieved by irrigating or not irrigating, or by speeding up or slowing down the center pivot. When the grain yields and irrigation amounts were normalized each year using the FARM treatment as the basis, on average for three of four locations, the BMP treatment yielded equal to the FARM treatment, the LATE treatment yielded 93% of the FARM treatment and the ALLOC yielded 84% of the FARM treatment. At the same time, it took 76% and 57% of the water for the LATE and ALLOC treatments, respectively, to achieve these yields. The adjusted gross returns (yield x price - irrigation treatment costs) of the irrigation treatments were analyzed for each location. When the gross returns were normalized using the FARM treatment as the basis, FARM and BMP returns were equal across combinations of high and low input commodity prices and pumping costs. The LATE treatment gross return was 95% of FARM return. The gross return for the ALLOC treatment was 85% to 91% of the FARM treatment. The higher the water costs, the lower the difference between the highest and lowest returning water treatments. Relationships between evapotranspiration and grain yield were developed for two sites over the limited range of water applications of the projects. Regressions indicated more variability between the commercial field data and research plot environments. Much of this difference may have been due to yearly replication in this study rather than plot-to-plot replication in the research center study. Yield and irrigation data were normalized on the basis of the FARM treatment. Normalized yield - irrigation results over years and locations for three of the four locations showed declining yields as irrigation decreased. The same regression was used to normalize the locations with soil textures from fine sand to sandy loam, which suggested that the three locations behaved similarly with respect to the management treatments.
|Pages:||623 - 631|
|Journal:||Applied engineering in agriculture|
center pivot irrigation, continuous cropping, bestmanagement practices, evapotranspiration, costs and returns, grainyield, irrigated farming, water conservation, irrigation requirement,irrigation scheduling, corn, Zea mays, irrigation management, Nebraska