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Agronomy 2017, 7(4), 68; doi:10.3390/agronomy7040068

Performance of Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation in the Texas High Plains Region

USDA-ARS, Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, Bushland, TX 79012, USA
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Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract

Mobile drip irrigation (MDI) technology adapts driplines to the drop hoses of moving sprinkler systems to apply water as the drip lines are pulled across the field. There is interest in this technology among farmers in the Texas High Plains region to help sustain irrigated agriculture. However, information on the performance of this system and its benefits relative to common sprinkler application technologies in the region are limited. A two-year study was conducted in 2015 and 2016 to compare grain yields, crop water use (ETc) and water use efficiency (WUE) of corn (Zea Mays L.) irrigated with MDI, low elevation spray application (LESA) and low energy precision application (LEPA) methods. Irrigation amounts for each application method were based on weekly neutron probe readings. In both years, grain yield and yield components were similar among application treatment methods. Although WUE was similar for the MDI treatment plots compared with LEPA and LESA during the wet growing season (2015), MDI demonstrated improved WUE during the drier year of 2016. Additional studies using crops with less than full canopy cover at maturity (sorghum and cotton) are needed to document the performance of MDI in the Texas High Plains region. View Full-Text
Keywords: center pivot; corn water productivity; precision irrigation; sprinkler irrigation; surface drip irrigation center pivot; corn water productivity; precision irrigation; sprinkler irrigation; surface drip irrigation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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O’Shaughnessy, S.A.; Colaizzi, P.D. Performance of Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation in the Texas High Plains Region. Agronomy 2017, 7, 68.

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