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Comparison of Site-Specific and Conventional Uniform Irrigation Management for Potatoes

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

Citation:  Paper number  022175,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9171) @2002
Authors:   Bradley A. King, Randy E. Reeder, Richard W. Wall, Jeffrey C. Stark
Keywords:   Irrigation, Irrigation Management, Center Pivot, Site-Specific Management, Potatoes

In the past decade, researchers, agriculturalists, and the irrigation industry as a means of increasing water and nitrogen use efficiency have discussed the concept of site-specific irrigation management. Research efforts to date have largely been directed toward development of hardware and software for implementing site-specific irrigation using continuous-move irrigation systems. Field studies to demonstrate and document an economic benefit to site-specific irrigation management are needed to encourage commercialization and producer adoption of the technology. A 2.9 ha field of potatoes was divided into eighteen arbitrary irrigation management zones. One-half of the management zones received site-specific irrigation management and the remainder received equal irrigation based on the average irrigation requirement for the nine zones. The mean seasonal irrigation amounts applied to the irrigation treatments were equivalent. Both total and marketable yields were significantly greater (p=0.10) under the site-specific irrigation management treatment. Based on a tuber quality adjusted price structure for processing potatoes, gross receipts were $165/ha ($67/ac) greater under site-specific irrigation management compared to conventional uniform irrigation management for the field site.

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