Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018LA118B

Assessing the Economic Impact of Delayed Irrigation in Agronomic Crops

Institute: Louisiana
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,052

Principal Investigators: Stacia Davis, Krishna Paudel, Todd Spivey

Abstract: During the last few years, Louisiana producers have invested heavily on irrigation technologies. At the same time, some major aquifers have shown water level decline and other stress that could potentially compromise the viability of agricultural production in the state. The combination of perceived abundance of groundwater resources, profitability from adding irrigation capabilities, lack of groundwater regulations, and lack of irrigation research have limited the application of irrigation scheduling techniques within the state. Thus, it is critical to conduct applied research to inform state policies as well as have strategies available to help producers meet the terms of the policy once it goes into effect. The objective of this research is to quantify the economics of delaying an irrigation application during the critical period of crop growth when forecasted weather conditions include rainfall. This research will be conducted at the Red River Research Station on a 1.62 ha field of soybean with treatments of A) Irrigation occurs on the day it was required, B) Irrigation occurs two days after it was required, and C) Irrigation occurs four days after it was required. The Smart Technologies for Agricultural Management and Production (STAMP) irrigation scheduling tool will be used to determine the date of the irrigation requirement and soil moisture will be monitored using sensors. A separate, simultaneous research study will also occur on the research station with soybean in an adjacent field that will provide opportunities for leveraging the results in the proposed study. The expected benefits of conducting this research are to evaluate a cost effective tool to help reduce over-pumping of the aquifer through dynamic irrigation scheduling and develop research-based results that can be used to educate producers on economics of delayed irrigation.