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Irrigation Interval Effects on Cotton Production Using Subsurface Drip Systems

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

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121337401.(doi:10.13031/2013.41779)
Authors:   James P Bordovsky, Cora Lea Emerson, Joe T Mustian
Keywords:   Irrigation, Cotton, Subsurface drip irrigation, SDI, Irrigation interval.

Irrigation intervals as frequent as every 8 hours have been advocated by subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) service providers in an attempt to reduce severe water stress on Texas High Plains cotton where irrigation capacity is limited. Negative aspects of high-frequency, drip irrigation include non-uniform water distribution following zone valve closure and potential increases in mineral concentrations in the smaller wetted volumes adjacent to the drip lateral. A field study was conducted from 2009 to 2011 with the objective of determining cotton response to SDI application intervals of 0.25, 2 and 7days using both low and high irrigation capacities in a field with topography common to the Texas South Plains. The high irrigation capacity treatments provided approximately 80% of crop water needs using ET scheduling, while low irrigation treatment quantities were 50% of the high. The soil texture was clay-loam and the field slope was less than 1%. Over the three year period at both irrigation levels, lint yields, seasonal irrigation water use efficiencies, and loan values of the 7-d irrigation interval treatments were equal to or greater than the 0.25- and 2-d interval treatments.

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