Irrigation Presentations

Oct 22, 2020 by sitecontrol in
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How to grow 200+ BPA Row Rice without NBPT Urea and only a foot of water

Presented by: Dr. Chris Henry
Associate Professor and Water Management Engineer, University of Arkansas

A novel system has been developed to improve the furrow irrigated rice production system. In 2020 large scale fertigation was attempted at a field level scale to evaluate and demonstrate the potential of using liquid fertilizers and the irrigation system as a fertilizer delivery practice on Ricetec Full Page 7521.Higher yields were achieved when using a plant tissue driven fertigation program. This program was compared to two standard urea programs and two Environmentally Safe Nitrogen programs. Irrigation frequencies of 0-10 days were evaluated and suggests that many are irrigating FIR far too frequently with no yield benefit. The additional benefits of no-till are not impacting yield relative to a tillage production system.

An old dog learning new tricks with furrow irrigated rice

Presented by: Gary Sitzer
Arkansas Farmer: Rice

A Variable Flow Tailwater Recovery System (VFTWRS) was installed on farm to evaluate Furrow Irrigated Rice (FIR) water use and irrigation management. The field could use either groundwater or surface water and was planted to Ricetec XL745. Several water management strategies were used, intermittent irrigation versus continuous flow irrigation. Managing FIR requires a different approach but the VFTWRS appears to have goo utility with sometimes unexpected results.

Irrigation From the Rear View Mirror

Presented by: Dr. Darrin Dodds
Professor and Head, Mississippi State University

This presentation will focus on cotton irrigation from an outside looking in perspective. For all of the challenges 2020 has presented, the fundamental need to feed and clothe the world remains. In addition, the need to do so in an environmentally friendly, yet profitable manner also remains. A conversational approach with those in attendance will be used to gather ideas and pass information.

Irrigation and mepiquat chloride rates influence on growth, development, and yield in Mississippi cotton

Presented by: Dr. Brian Pieralisi
Extension Cotton Specialist, Mississippi State University

Mississippi growers have utilized irrigation practices for decades, often in conjunction with plant growth regulators to produce optimum plant size and increase yield. Research was established at the R.R. Foil Plant Research Center in Starkville, MS to evaluate different PGR rates and timings in cotton as influenced by irrigation. Plots were categorized as irrigated or dryland and PGR treatments were split applications totaling 16, 32, and 48 oz per acre.

Irrigation Automation –Year 1: Evaluating On-Farm Irrigation Automation

Presented by: Dr. Drew Gholson
Assistant Professor/Irrigation Specialist, Delta Research & Extension Center

Water levels in the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer continue to drop in the Mississippi Delta while irrigation acreage continues to increase. Adoption of irrigation conservation practices or Best Management Practices(BMPs)is imperative to help sustain our groundwater supplies. The Row-crop Irrigation Science Extension and Research (RISER) is an on-farm program that demonstrates to grower show irrigation water management (IWM) practices reduce irrigation water use up to 40% while improving profitability by $40/acre. In 2020, the RISER program began identifying and evaluating innovative sensor and automation technologies that can assist producers with improving their on-farm irrigation management strategies and scheduling. This session will look at one year of data assessing full automation in both furrow and rice AWD irrigation.

Full Automated Irrigation In Furrow Irrigated Crops

Presented by: Nick King
Mississippi Irrigation Consultant: Precision King

King is the President of Precision King Technology, and Precision King partnered with MSU this past growing season evaluating fully automated irrigation in corn, soybean and rice crops. The project was undertaken in 10 locations, with three locations in corn, two in soybeans and five in rice. He will be discussing the results and efficiencies of the project with Drew Gholson of MSU.

Nick is a second generation consultant whose father has operated a consulting firm for over 30 years. Nick operates an irrigation scheduling company, and he is the President of Precision King Technology. Nick is also the President of Jitney Pharmacies, where he and his wife own two community pharmacies in Mississippi. Nick’s real passion is drilling water wells in Africa in the non-profit Gracewater, of which he is the founder.

Managed Aquifer Recharge in the US Midsouth: A case study in the design and initial utility of two infiltration galleries in northeast Arkansas

Presented by: Dr. Michele L. Reba
Research Hydrologist, Lead Scientist, USDA-ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit

Presented by: Tom Wimpy
Arkansas Farmer

Groundwater levels have been declining in the US Midsouth for decades and can be attributed to overuse from pumping and surface geology. Several water conservation approaches have been taken to reduce groundwater usage and improve water sustainability in the region, especially in Arkansas. In northeast Arkansas where areas where large surface water irrigation projects are not being planned, researchers are evaluating the use of farm-scale manage aquifer recharge(MAR) using infiltration galleries (IG) in conjunction with surface-water storage systems. Low-permeability surface deposits, which greatly limit natural recharge across the region, control the placement of potential IG systems. It is therefore critical to understand the variability of these deposits, as well as underlying aquifer properties, to best plan the placement, design, and operation of such systems. This study aimed to characterize these conditions to assess the feasibility of infiltration galleries in the region. Available well logs were used to map the approximate thickness of surface deposits and identify areas with the thinnest confining unit. Guided by this mapping effort, geophysical and soil surveys were conducted at selected sites. Approximately 37% of the study area, including 28 existing reservoirs that could act as recharge water sources, was identified as having less than 5 m of confining material at the surface. Design of farm-scale IG will be described. Construction of two infiltration galleries began in Fall of 2020. Initial results from this case study will be presented.

Automation of rice irrigation: technologies, field trials and visions

Presented by: Dr. Joseph Massey
Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit

Presented by: Mike Sullivan
Arkansas Farmer: Rice

We compared different levels of automation with the goal to make rice irrigation easier and more efficient. These findings and useful roles that technology might play in rice irrigation will be discussed.

Irrigated and dryland corn production under strip-tillage and conventional tillage

Presented by: Dr. Gurbir Singh
Assistant Research Professor Agronomy – Irrigation, Delta Research & Extension Center

Most producers in the Mississippi Delta perform multiple tillage operations before crop planting including subsoiling, and then disking, hipping, and rolling for bed formation. Subsoiling alleviates compaction in deep soil horizons, while surface tillage ensures good soil to seed contact. Conservation management practices that minimize surface tillage while maximizing yield, net returns, and irrigation/fertilizer use efficiency are needed in the mid-southern USA. Strip-tillage with a deep shank can be an alternative practice to the conventional tillage system. Strip-tillage generally disturbs 25% of the plow layer, while the remainder of the soil and surface residues remain undisturbed. Strip-till rigs are designed to band dry or liquid fertilizer using a shank when the tillage operation is performed. Banding fertilizer below the seedbed increases the probability for plant uptake while minimizing loss through runoff. The objective of this study is to quantify the effects of strip-tillage/deep banding P and K fertilizer placement on corn production in irrigated and dryland environments. Strip tillage /deep banding fertilizer placement is compared with surface broadcast fertilizer placement with conventional tillage, and surface broadcast and incorporated fertilizer placement with tillage. Data on corn yield, nutrient uptake, nutrient and water use efficiency, compaction, and soil available P and K from different tillage and fertilizer placement treatments will be reported at the conference.

Practical Irrigation Decisions: Math is greater than emotion.

Presented by: Dan Prevost
Consultant: Southern Ag Services

Proper irrigation is an art. Every farmer knows this because they see the complexities involved with soils and water reflected in the crop every day. This presentation will dive into the basics of soil/water/plant physics and explain these interactions in laymen’s terms. The assumptions made when extrapolating soil moisture sensor data for irrigation decisions will be clearly explained. From that basis, we will transition to volumetric soil moisture sensors and the associated data used to support farm scale irrigation decisions based on a series of mathematical equations.

Row Rice and Cover Crops

Presented by: Keith Scoggins
Farmer/NRCS District Conservationist/Arkansas Soil Health Alliance Member, USDA-NRCS

Presented by: Adam Chappell
Arkansas Farmer: Rice

As production costs associated with rice production continue to rise coupled with current prices, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a positive margin in Mid-South rice production. Improvements in the production model using cover crops on our farm shave opened the door to explore strategies that have greatly reduced my input costs, while maintaining yields. The ins and outs of 38-inch twin row rice in a cover crop system and impacts on my bottom line will be discussed.
Chappell holds a bachelor’s degree in Botany from Arkansas State University and a master’s degree in Entomology from the University of Arkansas. He raises4,000 acres of soybeans, 2,000 acres of corn, and 1,000 acres each of cotton and rice on about 9,000 acres.

Transitioning to Conservation Management Systems in Corn

Presented by: Dave Spencer
PhD Candidate, Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center

Conservation practices such as cover crops and no-tillage may be useful tools in reducing water use, erosion, and nutrient runoff. However, reported benefits are often based on anecdotal evidence or established conservation systems. The objectives of this research were to investigate the effects of cover crops or no-tillage on yield, profitability, and environmental parameters during a four-year transition period from conventional to conservation management. This presentation will discuss advantages, disadvantages, and changes in the systems over time.

Conservation Tillage Systems for Furrow-Irrigated Soybean

Presented by: Dr. Corey Bryant
Extension Grains Agronomist, University of Georgia, Tifton Campus

Adoption of conservation tillage systems has been limited in the Delta regions of Mississippi due to concerns regarding the functionality of furrow-irrigation practices in these systems. In four-years adoption of a reduced or zone tillage system with or without a cover crop had no negative effects on furrow-irrigation functioning. Soybean productivity and profitability was maintained in reduced tillage systems which included subsoiling or a modified zone tillage system. Use of a cereal rye cover crop did not effect soybean grain yield but did reduce net returns. Conservation tillage systems can be adopted in the Delta regions without having negative effects on soybean productivity, profitability, or furrow-irrigation functionality.

Pipe Planner can save producers time, money, and resources. Learn how to use the Pipe Planner application and start saving today.

Presented by: Chris DeClerk
Irrigation Specialist, Delta Plastics

Pipe Planner improves irrigation efficiency and creates time for other tasks around the farm. Over one million acres throughout the Delta currently use Pipe Planner and more are learning every year. Producers gather two simple inputs from the field and input this information into the program. If you are struggling with blowouts, complicated side slopes that require barrels or experiencing long watering times, you must use Pipe Planner. Chris DeClerk, Irrigation Specialist with Delta Plastics, will lead you through how to overcome these hardships with a step by step process of Pipe Planner data collection and design creation.