Project Summaries

11-837MO  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes

THE KEY TO TELEMETRY: KNOWING THE IDEAL SOIL MOISTURE TO IRRIGATE AT

Joseph Henggeler, University of Missouri

The purpose of this study was to discover the ideal soil moisture conditions (specifically, the soil moisture tension) at which to irrigate. The 12-inch depth was chosen to monitor and trigger on, since it has many active roots, but not be subject to constant wetting and dry cycles like the 6-inch depth is. The trigger soil moisture potential values were 30, 50, 70, 90, 110, 130, and 150 cbars at the 12-inch depth. Watermark readings were read three times a week. If the 12-inch sensor had reached a tensiometric trigger point in a plot, it was watered that day.

The treatments resulted in applying 4.2 to 12.0 inches of irrigation water in 2011 and 4.1 to 7.8 in 2012. Yields ranged from 560 to 1,209 pounds of lint in 2011 and 876 to 1,171 pound of lint in 2012. Results indicated that the 70 - 90 cbar range was best to irrigate at. This is close to the value previously reported of 70-80 cbars. Irrigating at tensions below 50 cbar should be avoided for Missouri soils. However, after 100 cbars, yields decline linearly at about a rate of 5 lbs. of lint per cbar past 100 cbars.

 

Project Year: 2012
 

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