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Rice Water use efficiency and yield under continuous and intermittent irrigation

de Avila, Luis Antonio, Martini, Luiz Fernando D., Mezzomo, Rafael F., Refatti, Joao Paulo, Campos, Rogerio, Cezimbra, Diogo M., Machado, Sergio Luis O., Massey, Joseph H., Carlesso, Reimar, Marchesan, Enio
Agronomy journal 2016 v.107 no.2 pp. 442-448
Glycine max, Gossypium hirsutum, Ictalurus punctatus, Oryza sativa, Zea mays, catfish, corn, cotton, crops, farmers, flood irrigation, flowmeters, furrows, groundwater, growing season, irrigation rates, irrigation scheduling, paddies, rain, rice, river deltas, soybeans, surface irrigation, surge irrigation, water use efficiency, Mississippi
This paper reports season-long and monthly irrigation applications made between 2002 and 2013 by producers to cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), maize (Zea mays), and rice (Oryza sativa), soybean (Glycine max) and catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in the Mississippi Delta, a region of intensive agricultural production located in western Mississippi. These groundwater irrigation results are based on a combined total of 1,311 field and 48 pond measurements. The methods, amounts, and frequencies of irrigation were determined by farmers. Owing to the limited availability of permanently-installed flowmeters, the power conversion coefficient (PCC) method was used and found to provide results similar to that of propeller flowmeters. PCC values (i.e., kilowatt-hours per m3 groundwater pumped) determined for surface irrigation methods (e.g., flood; furrow) where significantly smaller than PCC values measured for pivot systems, as would be expected. Rice was the most heavily irrigated, receiving an average of 9,199 m3/ha irrigation, an amount higher (p < 0.0001) than that applied to all other crops. Catfish received on average 5,260 m3/ha irrigation and was higher (p < 0.0001) than all crops but rice. Maize received 3,115 m3/ha irrigation per growing season but this amount was not different (p=0.3590) than the 2,807 m3/ha applied to soybean. Cotton received 1,765 m3/ha irrigation which was less (p<0.0001) than that applied to the other crops and catfish. A strong negative correlation (r = -0.75; p = 0.004879) was observed between the amounts of rainfall received at Stoneville, Mississippi, and the average amounts of irrigation applied to row crops, suggesting that producers were responsive to precipitation when making irrigation applications. Zero-grade rice fields were the most efficient rice irrigation systems studied, receiving 5,738 ± 3,068 m3/ha irrigation which was significantly less (p=0.0106) than the 7,950 ± 2,759 m3/ha applied to straight-levee rice fields using multiple-inlet rice irrigation (MIRI). Similar amounts of irrigation were applied to contour and straight-levee rice fields. In terms of row crops, producers generally applied the most irrigation using furrow versus flood and/or pivot methods. The amounts of irrigation applied to cotton did not change (p=0.1642) over this study. In contrast, applications to rice (p=0.06987) and maize-soybean (p=0.00441) both increased at average rates of approximately 170 and 196 m3 per ha per year, respectively.