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Effects of Sensor Threshold Irrigation Scheduling on a Soybean-Cover Crop
Proceedings of the 2020 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2020 Authors: Russell D., Singh G., Kaur G.
The Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA) is the main source for irrigation water supply for soybean production in the Mississippi Delta. However, MRVAA is depleting at a rate faster than it can be recharged. Decline in ground water levels in MRVAA necessitates the use of better agronomic practices and irrigation management for saving water and increasing water use efficiency. Research has been done in the past using various irrigation scheduling techniques on monoculture soybeans, but there is limited information available on irrigation scheduling of soybean with combination of winter cover crops. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effects of sensor thresholds for irrigation scheduling on soybean production, with and without cover crops on a sandy loam soil. This study also determines the effects of irrigation scheduling and cover crops on economic returns, soil available nutrients , irrigation water use, and water use efficiency. The field experiment was initiated in fall 2019 at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, MS. The four cover crop treatments included in this study were: cereal rye, hairy vetch, a wheat-radish-turnip mix, and a no cover crop control. The three irrigation treatments used for irrigation scheduling were: a season-long single threshold (-85kPa), a dual threshold (-50 kpa at Tamax>=95°F and -85 kPa at Tamax<95°F), and a non-irrigated control. The baseline data was collected in fall 2019 including soil infiltration rates, bulk density, and penetration resistance. Soil samples were also collected in fall 2019 for soil health analysis. The results from this study will be presented at the conference.