Agronomic evaluation of subsurface drip and overhead irrigation for cotton in Georgia
Meeks, Calvin Douglas
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Cotton irrigated acreage is predicted to increase 89 percent in Georgia by 2050 Research was conducted to investigate agronomic and physiological effects of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) on cotton grown in Georgia in comparison to traditional overhead (OVHD) irrigation. Field experiments were conducted at Stripling Irrigation Research Park (SIRP) near Camilla, GA, and Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center (SGREC) near Midville, GA during 2011 and 2012. Cotton irrigated with SDI produced similar yields to OVHD irrigation while using less water. Cotton yields were slightly higher (84 kg/ha) when irrigated with SDI with shallow tape (buried 5 cm below the soil surface) compared to SDI with tape buried 30 cm deep. Optimal irrigation methods were found to be matching UGA’s weekly water requirement and or by maintain soil moisture potential above -40 kPa for both cultivars.