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Impacts of Irrigation and Land Leveling on Yields in Missouri

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  022066,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10390) @2002
Authors:   Joseph C. Henggeler
Keywords:   Effect of irrigation, effect of land leveling, corn, soybeans, winter wheat

Irrigation in the Bootheel of Missouri, where 80% of the states irrigation is located, increased yield by 46 and 13 bu/ac for corn and soybeans, respectively, over dryland. Current yield enhancement from irrigation is inadequate to cover investment costs. Fortunately, yield levels are increasing with respect to (w.r.t.) dryland yields in this part of the state, so that for that last five years profits would have occurred had not commodity prices dropped so precipitously. Unfortunately, the non-Bootheel portion of the state that irrigates is seeing yield levels decrease w.r.t. dryland yields. Corn and double-crop soybeans are not effected by laserleveling, but full-season, irrigated soybeans show a 6 bu/ac increase. Using FSA county records to compare the relativity of irrigated counties yields to dryland counties yields show the impact of irrigation on corn in the Bootheel. Winter wheat in the Bootheel, which is not irrigated, but has enjoyed the benefits of laser-leveling shows a relative yield increase since the 1990s of about 3 bu/acre.

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