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Development and Delivery of Educational Tools for Irrigation Water Management and On-Farm Implementation of the Mississippi Irrigation Scheduling Tool (MIST)

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

Citation:  Paper number  131620243,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Amy M. Schmidt, Gretchen F. Sassenrath, J. Crumpton, J. Q. Corbitt, B. Rice, H. van Riessen, R. Thornton, R. Prabhu, J. Pote, C. Wax, Mary Love Tagert
Keywords:   irrigation water management implementation delivery education

Abstract.  Agricultural crop producers in Mississippi have always enjoyed plentiful water resources for irrigating crops. As a result, water management tools and protocols for conservation of this resource has been limited. The decline in the level of the Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer, which supplies groundwater in the western region of Mississippi known as the Delta, has generated concern about overuse of groundwater and caused water conservation to become a necessity in crop production systems. Through development of the Mississippi Irrigation Scheduling Tool (MIST), it became evident that educating the region’s agricultural crop producers on managing water based on the needs of the crops was paramount to successful implementation and use of an irrigation scheduling tool. Basic knowledge of soil-water interactions, plant water use, and crop water utilization became the basis for development of a Mississippi State Extension Service-hosted website that would also become the launching point for the MIST. Agricultural crop producers serving as cooperators to help test and validate the MIST prediction model during the 2011 and 2012 growing seasons were utilized to determine preferred terminology for discussing crop water use with end-users. Additional educational and decision support materials were developed to instruct cooperating producers on implementation of the MIST. This paper includes discussion of the educational needs input from cooperating producers and development of educational outputs.

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