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Irrigation at K-State Research and Extension

Reducing producer uncertainty at the end of the irrigation season

Freddie Lamm

Using proper irrigation management, corn grain yields are linearly related to the total water use of the corn. The benefit from a properly allocated inch of irrigation water is considerable (10-20 bu/acre at $2.00 to $2.25/bu equals $20-$45/acre). This compares to a pumping cost that could be $5-7 acre-inch. Thus when producers are uncertain about properly terminating the irrigation season, they often choose to error on the side of additional unnecessary irrigation. Better criteria are needed by producers to determine the termination point for the irrigation season. Eliminating an unnecessary irrigation at the end of the season may be the largest single water savings that a producer can make in a given year.

It is proposed that yield accumulation (grain filling stage) be evaluated at 7 different irrigation levels during the close of the corn production season. Biological, soil and atmospheric processes and their interactions will be measured.

The study would be conducted over a 4-year timeframe with a cost of $25,000/year.

This file created Sept 20, 2001