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Crop Production Comparison with Spray, LEPA, and Subsurface Drip Irrigation in the Texas High Plains

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

Citation:  5th National Decennial Irrigation Conference Proceedings, 5-8 December 2010, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona USA  IRR10-9704.(doi:10.13031/2013.35818)
Authors:   Paul D Colaizzi, Steven R Evett, Terry A Howell, R Louis Baumhardt
Keywords:   Grain sorghum, soybean, cotton, water use efficiency, Ogallala Aquifer, semiarid

Irrigation application method may affect crop yield and water productivity. Crop production was compared for spray, LEPA drag sock, and subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) application methods in the Texas High Plains. Crops included three seasons of grain sorghum, one season of soybean, and four seasons of cotton. Irrigation treatments were 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of replacing full crop evapotranspiration, which was measured by neutron probe. For grain sorghum, SDI resulted in the largest grain yield and water use efficiency at the 25 and 50% irrigation treatments, followed by LEPA, but spray outperformed LEPA and SDI at the 75 and 100% treatments. For soybean, the same trend was observed at the 25 and 50% treatments, but SDI performed best at 75%, and spray performed best at 100%. Cotton productivity and gross returns were consistently best for SDI, followed by LEPA, and spray at all irrigation treatments.

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