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Stream water levels affect field water tables and corn yields

Doty, C.W., Parsons, J.E., Nassehzadeh-Tabrizi, A., Skaggs, R.W., Badr, A.W.
Transactions of the ASAE 1984 v.27 no.5 pp. 1300-1306
corn, streams, yields, North Carolina
A section of land about 1800 m wide and 4000 m along Mitchell Creek in Edgecombe and Pitt Counties, North Carolina, was studied for three years, 1980, 1981, and 1982. During 1980 and 1981 the deep channel in these sandy soils caused a water table drawdown of about 3 m near the stream. The water table was affected 884 m away. Corn yields near the creek were one-half those at 800 m from the creek. Stress-day indices varied inversely with yield. In 1982 a fabric dam, filled with water that automatically controls water levels in the creek and allows floods to pass, was installed in the creek. Stream water level control caused a significant rise in water table levels in the fields, and corn yields were 23% more than yields without water table control within 488 m of Mitchell Creek. This increased value of yield in 1982 will pay for the high costing prototype dam in about 15 years if these results continue.