Lead Researcher: Derek Heeren
Contact: Derek Heeren
Partners: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USDA-ARS Bushland, TX, Valmont Industries
Abstract: The next step forward for advancing irrigation management, especially in the sub-humid eastern portion of the Great Plains, is increasing the adoption rates of scientific irrigation scheduling (SIS). Adoption rates of SIS for center pivot irrigation in the Great Plains would likely be much higher if SIS was automated and reliable. Field experiments will be carried out on a standard size (60 ha) center-pivot-irrigated field at the UNL Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (ENREC) near Mead, NE. Treatments will include: IRT and Watermark (full irrigation), IRT and Watermark (deficit irrigation), ISSCADA System (IRTs and Acclima soil water sensors), Spatial Evapotranspiration Model, Common Practice, and Rainfed (no irrigation). Although one of the treatments in the field trials(ISSCADA) will be specific to Valmont Industries, the other research findings will be in the pre-competitive space and could be incorporated by other manufacturers and service providers, moving the industry toward center pivot automation.