Source: KANSAS STATE UNIV submitted to
DEFICIT IRRIGATION STRATEGIES FOR CROP PRODUCTION IN WESTERN KANSAS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0213747
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
KS401
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2008
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2014
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Lamm, F.
Recipient Organization
KANSAS STATE UNIV
(N/A)
MANHATTAN,KS 66506
Performing Department
KSU NW Agriculture Research Center
Non Technical Summary
Improved deficit irrigation strategies for corn and alfalfa will be developed through a combination of field and computer modeling research studies. A field study will be used to evaluate corn production under nine different deficit sprinkler-irrigation strategies and three different plant populations. The goal of this research study is to develop a planning tool for producers to determine how much land area should be planted to irrigated corn and at what plant population for their given irrigation capacity. A second study will determine the sensitivity of corn to early-season water stress so as to develop better irrigation management techniques to save water without greatly reducing grain yields. Computer modeling will be used to examine many different deficit irrigation techniques including irrigation timing and amounts with the goal of identifying new possible strategies that might need field research or further development. Deficit irrigation of alfalfa will be examined for three possible scenarios that might save water without greatly reducing yields.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
(N/A)
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1110210202030%
4051510202040%
4051640202030%
Goals / Objectives
The four objectives are (1) Develop improved strategies for using deficit irrigation for sprinkler irrigated corn; (2) Quantify the sensitivity of corn to pre-anthesis water stress and improve stress indexes; (3) Evaluate multiple strategies of withholding and provision of irrigation for crop production by simulation modeling and (4) Evaluate the potential for deficit irrigation of alfalfa. As the farm economy improves, it is expected that some marginal irrigation systems will either come back into production or will be more fully utilized to grow higher-value crops such as corn being heavily used in ethanol production. These systems need and will benefit from precise information about how to optimize irrigation timing and amount, utilization of dormant-season soil water storage, and how to allocate land area and planting populations for various capacity systems. These management strategies are easy to adopt in the near timeframe and do not require any significant capital outlay. Outputs from the project will include publications, flyers and web pages, as well as presentations at regional, national and international meetings. A decision tool useful in planning land allocation and plant density for deficit sprinkler-irrigated corn will be developed.
Project Methods
Corn production strategies under deficit center pivot sprinkler irrigation will be optimized through comparing grain yields and yield components, water use, soil water levels and water productivity (grain yield divided by applied water depth) as affected by three fixed and three declining in-season irrigation capacities. The treatments will also be compared with and without preseason irrigation and at three different plant densities. The optimization process will include developing a decision tool that will be useful in planning land allocation and plant density under differing irrigation scenarios. Corn production will be examined under nine different irrigation scenarios that will result in varying soil water conditions before anthesis. These data will be useful in determining corn sensitivity to early season water stress and in planning irrigation management. The study will be conducted under subsurface drip irrigation. Computer modeling will be used to examine various irrigation season initiation and termination dates as well as other management strategies on corn production and irrigation water use. The model will use actual weather data for 36 years from northwest Kansas to create simulated irrigation schedules that will be coupled with crop production functions and economic analyses. The modeling can quickly examine many different scenarios and, in some cases, may suggest topic areas where more field research is needed. Deficit irrigation of alfalfa will be examined in a field study using subsurface drip irrigation. Irrigation will be restricted to a level that would replace about 85 percent of evapotranspiration for one treatment with other treatments having water restricted at further reduced amounts during the first and third cuttings of the alfalfa. The data will be analyzed with standard statistical procedures from PC-SAS. Feedback from producer groups and audiences at conferences as well as crop reporting statistics will be used to gauge the effectiveness of the research.

Progress 01/01/13 to 09/30/13

Outputs
Target Audience: Producers ranging from large, technologically savvy operations to small, part-time or hobby farming operations. Technical service providers such as USDA-NRCS working to improve irrigation and salinity management on regional, state and national scales. Community of scientists and extension specialists in Kansas and also regional, national and international colleagues, particularly for those with semi-arid summer pattern precipitation. Water managers and regulators within the state and region. Policymakers at the local (e.g., GMDs and LEMAs), state (e.g., State agencies and legislators) and national (Federal agencies and Congress) levels. Rural and community interests and foundations. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Nothing Reported What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Any remaining field studies associated with the current CRIS will be completed and the results will be summarized.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Impact Statements Spring preseason irrigation was not beneficial for sprinkler irrigated corn production in a three-year study in northwest Kansas, even though it included an extreme drought year. These results were incorporated with previous results to outline guidelines for usage of this water management strategy. Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) of alfalfa in northwest Kansas can be reduced to replacement of 70 to 85% of crop evapotranspiration without sacrificing yield or forage nutritive value. These results are indicative of the increased efficiency of SDI and the partial replacement of soil water in storage during the overwinter period. Corn grown on the silt loam soils of western Kansas has a greater than anticipated ability to handle early-season water stress, provided the water stress can be relieved during later stages. Critical factors in managing early-season water stress in corn have been identified as the amount of soil water in storage during early July, and the evaporative demand during the same period. Crop simulation modeling for northwest Kansas continues to suggest that, in many cases, it may be more beneficial to reduce Objective 1 Activities: The effect of five sprinkler irrigation regimes and irrigation timing treatments were compared in a new corn study also involving the response of four corn hybrids. The results from the 2013 trial have not been analyzed at this point in time. This study, over time, should enhance guidelines for managing deficit sprinkler irrigation when irrigation is restricted by an institutional constraint (e.g., governmental or regional policy). Objective 2 Activities: Simulation modeling was conducted to examine summer crop production (corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and sunflower) using 42 years of weather data from Colby, Kansas. Crop yield response, irrigation requirements and the monthly distribution of irrigation needs were determined. Additional results of the modeling exercise indicated that as irrigation capacity declines to severe deficit irrigation, the water productivity actually begins to decrease emphasizing the importance of irrigation in optimizing water use. Publications are being prepared at this point in time and will be reported in the termination report for the CRIS. Objective 3 Activities: Studies currently underway were continued in 2013, but the 2013 trial results have not been summarized. Objective 4 Activities: The alfalfa site was abandoned at the end of 2012 due to the life cycle of the alfalfa. It was refurbished during the summer of 2013 and was replanted for a new study to be conducted in 2014. Summarization of the 2008 through 2012 results is currently underway.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Liu, L., Klocke, N., Yan, S., Rogers, D., Schlegel, A., Lamm, F., Chang, S.I., and Wang, D. 2013. Impact of deficit irrigation on maize physical and chemical properties and ethanol yield. Cereal Chem. 90(5):453462. Harmoney, K.R., Lamm, F.R., Aboukheira, A.A., and Johnson, SK. 2013. Reducing water inputs with subsurface drip irrigation may improve alfalfa nutritive value. Online. Forage and Grazinglands doi:10.1094/FG-2013-117-01-RS. 8 pp.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Wang, D., Liu, L., Klocke, N., Rogers, D., Lamm, F., and Schegel, A. 2013. Impact of deficit irrigation on crop physical and chemical properties and ethanol yield. In: Proc. 8th International Starch Technology Conf., pp 62-79, K. Rausch, V. Singh, and M. Tumbleson eds., University of Illinois, Campaign, IL. Schlegel, A.J., Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2013. Optimizing no-till cropping systems under limited irrigation. In Annual mtg. abstract (CD-ROM). ASA, CSSA, and SSA, Madison, WI. Aiken, R., Lamm, R., and Seiler, G. 2013 Sunflower canopy and oilseed yield formation under deficit irrigation. National Sunflower Association Research Forum, Fargo, ND, 1/7/13. Schlegel, A.J, Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2013. A return look at preseason irrigation. p. 1-8. Proc. Cover Your Acres Winter Conference, Oberlin, KS, Jan. 15-16, 2013.
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Lamm, F.R. and OBrien, Evaluation of post-anthesis management allowed depletion (MAD) values for subsurface drip-irrigated corn production. D.M. 2013. Ogallala Aquifer Program written annual report. 3 pp. Lamm, F.R., Aiken, R.M., and OBrien, D.M. 2013. Managing deficit sprinkler irrigation for sunflower production. Ogallala Aquifer Program written final report. 8 pp. Lamm, F.R. 2013. Managing early season stresses affecting subsurface drip irrigated corn. Ogallala Aquifer Program written final report. 8 pp. Lamm, F.R. 2013. Macromanagement scheduling procedures for sprinkler irrigated corn. Ogallala Aquifer Program written final report. 4 pp. Lamm, F.R. 2013. Deficit subsurface drip irrigated alfalfa to optimize water productivity and forage quality. Ogallala Aquifer Program written final report. 3 pp.
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Lamm, F.R. Oral powerpoint presentation of Irrigation Management and Technologies in a Historic Drought to the Drought Roundtable called by the USDA Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) Climate Change Program Office (CCPO), April 4, 2103, Washington,DC. Lamm, F.R. 2013. Oral powerpoint presentation of Water Productivity to the Tear Down the Walls group,August 15, 2013, Colby, Kansas.


Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The project was initiated 10/01/2008, and the crop year 2012 represents the fourth field research year of the project. In 2012, the project concentrated on four field research activities: evaluation of residual soil water in producer fields; sprinkler irrigation of corn and sunflowers; and deficit irrigation of alfalfa. The study descriptions are as follows: Residual soil water levels were measured in producer wheat and corn fields after harvest in three north-to-south regions in western Kansas. The purpose of this study was to determine whether residual soil water levels were different with different production practices and also between regions. A presentation of these results was given at a regional meeting and also at a producer field day. Sprinkler irrigation capacities of 6.4, 4.2, or 3.2 mm/day limited by irrigation scheduling were used as sustained seasonal capacities and also with a 15% imposed post-July 15 reduction for strip tillage corn production (3 sustained and 3 variable capacities). An additional treatment was addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Four plant populations, 49,400, 61,800, 74,100, and 86,500 p/ha were superimposed on the irrigation plots. A deficit-irrigated alfalfa study compared treatments where irrigation was reduced during specific growth periods to a treatment where irrigation water was scheduled to replace about 85% of evapotranspiration for the whole season. The purpose of the project is to increase alfalfa water productivity (yield/water use) under deficit-irrigated and/or possibly partially compensate for yield reductions by improved forage quality. Results from an earlier subsurface drip irrigation study of alfalfa were published in the Transactions of the ASABE. Deficit sprinkler-irrigated sunflower production was evaluated at irrigation capacities of 6.4, 3.2, or 1.6 mm/day limited by ET-based water budget irrigation scheduling. An additional irrigation treatment was the addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant-season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Three plant populations, 44,500, 56,800, and 69,200 p/ha (18,000, 23,000, or 28,000 p/a) were superimposed on the irrigation plots. The overall objective of this study is to develop management procedures for deficit sprinkler irrigation of sunflower. A popular press article was prepared that detailed tips for improved irrigation management of sunflower. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer, serves as the project director. Mr. Mark Golemboski and Mr. Bob Schwindt, both agricultural technicians, serve as technical support personnel for the project. The Kansas Corn Commission, the National Sunflower Association and the USDA-ARS have provided funding through grants and cooperative agreements. Partnerships through collaborations are with the USDA-ARS staff at Bushland, Texas. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences are crop producers, primarily within the region, but extending nationally; crop consultants; USDA-NRCS staff; water managers and planners, primarily within Kansas; and the international scientific community. Primary efforts will be through field days and workshops such as the Central Plains Irrigation Conference. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The residual available soil water in producer's irrigated corn fields in western Kansas averaged approximately 60% of field capacity, which would suggest overall adequate irrigation management. However, there was a great amount of variation from one producer to the next, suggesting that producers should check their own fields after harvest. Each year is different, so irrigating to average conditions is very risky and may be less profitable. Science-based irrigation scheduling can help to better manage your water resources in-season and between seasons.

Publications

  • Kranz, W.L., Evans, R.G., Lamm, F.R., OShaughnessy, S.A., and Peters, R.T. 2012. A review of mechanical move sprinkler irrigation control and automation technologies. Appl. Engr. Agric. 28(3): 389-397.
  • Lamm, F.R., Howell, T.A. and Bordovsky, J.P. 2012. Erraticity of sprinkler irrigated corn in 2011. Page 88 to 101 in Proc. 24th Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2012, Colby, Kansas. Available from CPIA, 760 N. Thompson, Colby, Kansas.
  • Lamm, F., Rogers, D., Schneekloth, J., and Aiken, R. 2012. Tips for Improved Sunflower Management. The Sunflower 38(2) 12Y-13Y. February 2012.
  • Lamm, F.R., Harmoney, K.R., Aboukheira, A.A., and Johnson, S.K. 2012. Alfalfa production with subsurface drip irrigation in the Central Great Plains. Trans. ASABE 55(4): 1203-1212.
  • Lamm, F.R., Rogers, D.H., Schlegel, A.J., Klocke, N.L., Stone, L.R., Aiken, R.M., and Shaw, L.K. 2012. Assessment of plant available soil water on producer fields in western Kansas. Page 37 to 50 in Proc. 24th Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2012, Colby, Kansas. Available from CPIA, 760 N. Thompson, Colby, Kansas.
  • Rogers, D.H. and Lamm, F.R. 2012. Kansas irrigation trends. Page 1 to 15 in Proc. 24th Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conference Feb. 21-22, 2012, Colby, Kansas. Available from CPIA, 760 N. Thompson, Colby, Kansas.
  • Schlegel, A.J., Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2012. Managing diminished irrigation capacity with preseason irrigation and plant density for corn production. Trans. ASABE 55(2): 525-531.
  • Schlegel, A.J., Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2012. Optimizing cropping systems under limited irrigation conditions. Page 31 to 36 in Proc. 24th Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conference Feb. 21-22, 2012, Colby, Kansas. Available from CPIA, 760 N. Thompson, Colby, Kansas.
  • Schlegel, A.J., Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2012. A return look at dormant season irrigation strategies. Page 51 to 58 in Proc. 24th Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conference Feb. 21-22, 2012, Colby, Kansas. Available from CPIA, 760 N. Thompson, Colby, Kansas.


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The project was initiated 10/01/2008, and the crop year 2011 represents the third field research year of the project. In 2011, the project concentrated on three field research activities--sprinkler irrigation of corn and sunflowers and deficit irrigation of alfalfa. Unfortunately, a devastating hail storm destroyed the corn and sunflowers and destroyed the intended fourth alfalfa harvest. The study descriptions are as follows: Sprinkler irrigation capacities of 6.4, 4.2, or 3.2 mm/day limited by irrigation scheduling were used as sustained seasonal capacities and also with a 15% imposed post-July 15 reduction for strip tillage corn production (3 sustained and 3 variable capacities). An additional treatment was addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant-season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Four plant populations, 49,400, 61,800, 74,100, and 86,500 p/ha were superimposed on the irrigation plots. This was the fourth crop year for this study, but due to the hail, storm it will be continued in 2012. A deficit-irrigated alfalfa study compared treatments where irrigation was reduced during specific growth periods to a treatment where irrigation water was scheduled to replace about 85% of evapotranspiration for the whole season. The purpose of the project is to increase alfalfa water productivity (yield/water use) under deficit-irrigation and/or possibly partially compensate for yield reductions by improved forage quality. Results from an earlier subsurface drip irrigation study of alfalfa were summarized and presented at the Irrigation Association's technical conference. Deficit sprinkler-irrigated sunflower production was evaluated at irrigation capacities of 6.4, 3.2, or 1.6 mm/day limited by ET-based water budget irrigation scheduling. An additional irrigation treatment was the addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant-season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Three plant populations, 44,500, 56,800, and 69,200 p/ha, were superimposed on the irrigation plots. The overall objective of this study is to develop management procedures for deficit sprinkler irrigation of sunflower. Results from this study were summarized and presented at regional and national meetings. A popular press magazine article was also written. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer, serves as the project director. Mr. Mark Golembolski and Mr. Bob Schwindt, both agricultural technicians, serve as technical support personnel for the project. The Kansas Corn Commission, the National Sunflower Association and the USDA-ARS have provided funding through grants and cooperative agreements. Partnerships through collaborations are with the USDA-ARS staff at Bushland, Texas. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences are crop producers, primarily within the region, but extending nationally; crop consultants; USDA-NRCS staff; water managers and planners, primarily within Kansas; and the international scientific community. Primary efforts will be through field days and workshops such as the Central Plains Irrigation Conference. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
New outcomes and impacts were curtailed somewhat in 2011 by the devastating hail storm. Declines in sunflower yield with deficit irrigation are less drastic than with corn, so producers may wish to consider sunflower when irrigation system capacities are marginal. Sunflower and corn have similar peak ET and irrigation rate requirements for full irrigation, but sunflower requires about 58 mm less irrigation, and its peak needs began at about the time corn needs are starting to decline. Average full irrigation of sunflowers would be approximately 300 mm, but often producers will apply between 200 and 250 mm of irrigation because the amount of yield decline is only a few percentage points.

Publications

  • Stone, L.R., Klocke, N.L., Schlegel, A.J., Lamm, F.R. and Tomsicek, D.J. 2011. Equations for drainage component off the field water balance. Applied Engr. in Agric. 27(3):345-350.
  • Lamm, F.R. and Aboukheira, A.A. 2011. Effect of early season water stress on corn in northwest Kansas. ASABE paper no. 1111338. Available from ASABE, St. Joseph, MI. 11 pp. Aiken, R.M., Lamm, F.R., and Aboukheira, A.A. 2011. Oilseed crop water use and water productivity. In: Proc. 2011 Irrigation Association Tech. Conf., San Diego, CA, November 6-8, 2011. Available from the IA, Falls Church, VA. 10 pp.
  • Lamm, F.R., Aiken, R.M., and Aboukheira, A.A. 2011. Irrigation research with sunflowers in Kansas. In: Proc. 23rd Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conf., Feb. 22-23, 2011, Burlington, Colorado. pp. 169-180.
  • Aiken, R.M., Lamm, F.R., and Aboukheira, A.A. 2011. Water use of oilseed crops. In: Proc. 23rd Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conf., Burlington, Colorado, Feb. 22-23, 2011. pp. 181-189.
  • Schlegel, A.J., Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2011. Preseason irrigation of corn with diminished well capacities. In: Proc. 23rd Annual Central Plains Irrigation Conf., Burlington, Colorado, Feb. 22-23, 2011. pp. 11-18.


Progress 01/01/10 to 12/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The project was initiated 10/01/2008, and the crop year 2010 represents the second field research year of the project. In 2010, the project concentrated on three activities: Sprinkler irrigation capacities of 6.4, 4.2, or 3.2 mm/day limited by irrigation scheduling were used as sustained seasonal capacities and also with a 15% imposed post-July 15 reduction for strip tillage corn production (3 sustained and 3 variable capacities). An additional treatment was addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant season irrigation resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Four plant populations, 49,400, 61,800, 74,100, and 86,500 p/ha were superimposed on the irrigation plots. This was the third crop year for this study. The purpose of this study is to improve procedures for managing deficit irrigation for corn production when using center-pivot sprinkler irrigation. A deficit-irrigated alfalfa study compared treatments where irrigation was reduced during specific growth periods to a treatment where irrigation water was scheduled to replace about 85% of evapotranspiration for the whole season. The purpose of the project is to increase alfalfa water productivity (yield/water use) under deficit-irrigated and/or possibly partially compensate for yield reductions by improved forage quality. Deficit sprinkler-irrigated sunflower production was evaluated at irrigation capacities of 6.4, 3.2, or 1.6 mm/day limited by ET-based water budget irrigation scheduling. Additional treatments were developed by altering the sunflower irrigation season initiation date to either July 1 or July 20. The difference in starting dates is to gain information for management of sprinklers where crop type is split within the irrigated area (such as when the critical irrigation needs for corn are earlier than sunflower). An additional irrigation treatment was the addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant-season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Three plant populations, 44,500, 56,800, and 69,200 p/ha (18,000, 23,000, or 28,000 p/a) were superimposed on the irrigation plots. The overall objective of this study is to develop management procedures for deficit sprinkler irrigation of sunflower. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer, serves as the project director. Dr. A.A. Abou Kheira, visiting scientist from Egypt, serves as a professional scientist assisting in the data analysis and summarization. Mr. Mark Golembolski and Mr. Bob Schwindt, both agricultural technicians, serve as technical support personnel for the project. The Kansas Corn Commission, the National Sunflower Association and the USDA-ARS have provided funding through grants and cooperative agreements. Partnerships through collaborations are with the USDA-ARS staff at Bushland, Texas. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences are crop producers, primarily within the region, but extending nationally; crop consultants; USDA-NRCS staff; water managers and planners, primarily within Kansas; and the international scientific community. Primary efforts will be through field days and workshops such as the Central Plains Irrigation Conference. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Preseason irrigation (125 mm in early April) decreased corn yields approximately 0.3 Mg/ha, probably because of the abundant amount of overwinter and early-season precipitation and cool weather conditions. The average yield effect due to in-season irrigation amount was nearly linear up until a plateau in yield of approximately 14.5 Mg/ha that occurred at an irrigation amount of 290 mm. The slope of the linear portion of the response was a yield increase of 0.0139 Mg/ha for each mm of additional crop water use. Efficient irrigation scheduling along this linear portion of the response would generate approximately $1.05/ha for each mm of additional water use (assuming a pumping cost of $0.34/ha-mm). On average, target plant populations between 61,800 and 74,100 plants/ha had greater yields (approximately 14.5 Mg/ha) than the 49,400 and 86,500 plants/ha treatments (approximately 13.7 Mg/ha) in 2010. Using these results, the correct plant population would increase profitability by approximately $34/ha (assuming a corn seed price of $2.62/1000 seeds and a corn harvest price of $0.076/kg). Preseason irrigation (125 mm in late April) did not increase sunflower yield in 2010. Forgoing this uneconomical practice would save producers approximately $43.25/ha (assuming a pumping cost of $0.34/ha-mm). Greatest sunflower yield was obtained by the lowest target plant population (44,500 plants/ha) and at the greatest irrigation capacity (limited to 25 mm/4 days), but the greatest profitability occurred for the lowest plant population and the medium irrigation capacity (limited to 25 mm/8 days). Assuming a sunflower seed yield value of $0.469/kg and a pumping cost of $0.34/ha-mm, the 25 mm/6 days irrigation capacity would obtain $31.46/ha and $42.45/ha greater net returns than the 25 mm/4 days and 25 mm/12 days irrigation capacities, respectively. Results from the alfalfa study have not been summarized at this point in time.

Publications

  • Kranz, W.L., Evans, R.G., Lamm, F.R., O Shaughnessy, S.A., and Peters, T.G. 2010. Comparison of center pivot controllers for site-specific water application. In: Proc. 5th National Decennial Irrigation Conf., ASABE and the IA, Phoenix, Arizona, December 5-8. 12 pp.
  • Porter, D.O., Rogers, D., Marek, T., Lamm, F., Klocke, N., Alam, M., and Howell, T. 2010. Technology transfer: Promoting irrigation progress and best management practices. In: Proc. 5th National Decennial Irrigation Conf., ASABE and the IA, Phoenix, Az. December 5-8. 7 pp.
  • Schlegel, A.J., Stone, L.R., Dumler, T.J., and Lamm, F.R. 2010 Optimal corn management with diminished well capacities. In: Proc. 5th National Decennial Irrigation Conf., ASABE and the Irrigation Association, Phoenix, Arizona, December 5-8. 7 pp.


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The project was initiated on October 1, 2008, and the crop year 2009 represents the first field research year of the project. In 2009, the project concentrated on four activities: Sprinkler irrigation capacities of 6.4, 4.2 or 3.2 mm/day limited by irrigation scheduling were used as sustained seasonal capacities and also with a 15% imposed post-July 15 reduction for strip tillage corn production (3 sustained and 3 variable capacities). An additional treatment was addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Four plant populations 49,400, 61,800, 74,100 and 86,500 p/ha were superimposed on the irrigation plots. This was the second crop year for this study. The purpose of this study is to improve procedures for managing deficit irrigation for corn production when using center pivot sprinkler irrigation. Extensive data sets from previous pre-anthesis corn water stress studies at the KSU Northwest Research-Extension Center were analyzed to quantify the sensitivity of corn to pre-anthesis water stress and improve stress indexes. A presentation of preliminary results was given at two regional conferences. A deficit-irrigated alfalfa study compared treatments where irrigation was reduced during specific growth periods to a treatment where irrigation water was scheduled to replace about 85% of evapotranspiration for the whole season. The purpose of the project is to increase alfalfa water productivity (yield/water use) under deficit-irrigated and/or possibly partially compensate for yield reductions by improved forage quality. Deficit sprinkler-irrigated sunflower production was evaluated at irrigation capacities of 6.4, 3.2, or 1.6 mm/d limited by ET-based water budget irrigation scheduling. Additional treatments were developed by altering the sunflower irrigation season initiation date to either July 1 or July 20. The difference in starting dates is to gain information for management of sprinklers where crop type is split within the irrigated area (such as when the critical irrigation needs for corn are earlier than sunflower). An additional irrigation treatment was the addition or no addition of 127 mm of dormant season irrigation, resulting in a total of 12 different irrigation treatments. Three plant populations 44,500, 56,800 and 69,200 p/ha were superimposed on the irrigation plots. The overall objective of this study is to develop management procedures for deficit sprinkler irrigation of sunflower. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer will serve as the project director. Dr. A.A. Abou Kheira, visiting scientist from Egypt, serves as a professional scientist assistant in the data analysis and summarization. Mr. Mark Golemboski and Mr. Bob Schwindt, both plant science technicians, will serve as technical support personnel for the project. The Kansas Corn Commission, the National Sunflower Association and the USDA-ARS have provided funding through grants and cooperative agreements. Partnerships through collaborations are with the USDA-ARS staff at Bushland, Texas. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences are crop producers, primarily within the region but extending nationally, crop consultants, USDA-NRCS staff, water managers and planners, primarily within Kansas, and the international scientific community. Primary efforts will be through field days and workshops such as the Central Plains Irrigation Conference. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The crop year 2009 was very wet at the KSU Northwest Research-Extension Center, so results from the field studies are not appropriate to discuss at this point in time. The pre-anthesis corn water stress analysis suggests that corn grown on deep silt loam soil types in the Central Great Plains has great ability to handle early-season water stress, provided the water stress can be relieved during later stages. A critical factor in maximizing corn grain yields as affected by pre-anthesis water stress is maximizing the number of kernels/area. Maintaining a water deficit ratio (well-watered calculated corn water use divided by the sum of irrigation and precipitation) greater than 0.7 to 0.8 or limiting available soil water depletion in the top 4 ft of soil profile to approximately 30% maximized the kernels/area value.

Publications

  • Lamm, F.R. and Abou Kheira, A.A. 2009. Corn irrigation macromanagement at the seasonal boundaries: Initiating and terminating the irrigation season. Pages 40-60 in Proc. Central Plains Irrigation Conf., Colby, KS, Feb. 24-25, 2009. Available from CPIA, 760 N.Thompson, Colby, KS.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The project was initiated October 1, 2008. It is anticipated that the activities will focus on four objectives: 1) Develop improved strategies for using deficit irrigation for sprinkler irrigated corn; 2) Quantify the sensitivity of corn to pre-anthesis water stress and improve stress indexes; 3) Evaluate multiple strategies of withholding and provision of irrigation for crop production by simulation modeling, and 4) Evaluate the potential for deficit irrigation of alfalfa. During the project, it is anticipated that presentations will be made at the regional Central Plains Irrigation Conference (Kansas, Colorado, or Nebraska), the international Irrigation Association Exposition and Technical conference, and the ASABE annual meetings. Proceedings papers for each of these events, and two websites (SDI website, www.oznet.ksu/sdi and general irrigation website, www.oznet.ksu.edu/irrigate) are anticipated to be the primary products of the project and the means of dissemination. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer will serve as the project director. Dr. A. A. Abou Kheira, visiting scientist from Egypt serves as a professional scientist assistant in the data analysis and summarization. Mr. Mark Golemboski and Mr. Bob Schwindt, both plant science technicians will serve as technical support personnel for the project. The Kansas Corn Commission and the USDA-ARS have provided funding through grants and cooperative agreements. Partnerships through collaborations are with the USDA-ARS staff at Bushland, Texas. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences are crop producers, primarily within the region but extending nationally; crop consultants; USDA-NRCS staff; water managers and planners, primarily within Kansas; and the international scientific community. Primary efforts will be through field days and workshops such as the Central Plains Irrigation Conference. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
There are no outcomes to report at this time.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period