Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,165
Principal Investigators: Daran Rudnick, Chuck Burr, Tim Shaver, Derrel Martin, Greg Kruger, Francisco MunozArriola, Matt Stockton
Abstract: The project will compare similarly managed center pivot, subsurface drip, and furrow irrigation systems operated under the semi-arid climate found at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, Nebraska. The systems will be evaluated in terms of consumptive water use (evapotranspiration), grain yield, crop water and nitrogen productivity, irrigation amount and efficiency, irrigation/precipitation losses via runoff and/or deep percolation, nitrate losses, and energy consumption when applying full and limited irrigation application rates. Soil moisture data and soil samples will be collected at various depths within and below the crop root zone to quantify water and nitrate fluxes exiting the root zone. Spatial nitrogen response in relation to differences in irrigation system application technology will be assessed using reflective measurements obtained from above and within canopy sensors. On-farm research will also be conducted to evaluate the performance of cooperator owned center pivot, subsurface drip, and furrow irrigation systems (two of each). The project will provide training to pre-professionals (one graduate student and one undergraduate intern) on how to operate and evaluate the performance of various irrigation systems commonly used in west central Nebraska, which will benefit them as they explore future career opportunities in irrigated agriculture. Research results will be disseminated to agricultural producers through Extension and educational events, including field days, workshops, and symposiums as well as shared with the Twin Platte and Upper Republican Natural Resource Districts (NRDs) to be included into their newsletters and programming events.