State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007TX272B
Title: Optimizing Irrigation of Oilseed Crops on the Texas High Plains
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: 19
Focus Categories: Agriculture, Water Use, Conservation
Keywords: Optimum Irrigation, Oilseed Crops
Principal Investigators: Oswalt, Steve; Auld, Dick; Thompson, Thomas
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 12,802
Abstract: Water supply increasingly constrains crop production on the Texas High Plains, as West Texas continues to experience a steady decline in the Ogallala Aquifer. Crops currently important for this area need to be grown with less water, and new and higher value crops are needed to diversify cropping systems. Oilseed crop production in West Texas could help save water and enhance profitability for growers, and contribute to greater energy independence for the U.S. However, there has been little production of oilseed crops in West Texas and there is uncertainty about optimum management practices for oilseed production. Therefore, there is a critical need for information so farmers can make sound economic choices regarding crop selection and management. We propose to fill this information gap by growing a number of oilseed crops that show promise for W. Texas under variable water regimes, to develop irrigation water production functions with respect to oil yield and quality. Experiments will be conducted during 2007-2010. The crops to be evaluated include canola, sunflower, safflower, soybeans, mustard, camelina, jatropha, castor, rapeseed, and cotton. We will develop water production functions to describe oilseed yield and oil quality as a function of irrigation applied. Thus, these results will help to close the information gap that currently constrains efforts to optimize production of oilseed crops in West Texas.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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