Irrigation and Drainage

Oral

394327 - Effect of Irrigation Scheduling Technique and Fertility Level on Corn Yield and Nitrogen Movement

Wednesday, June 6
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Skyway Room
Co-Authors: Maria Zamora, Gainesville, FL – University of Florida; Diane Rowland, Gainesville, FL – Agronomy

Florida has more first magnitude springs that anywhere in the world. Most of these are located in north
Florida where agricultural production is the primary basis for the economy. Irrigated corn has become a
popular part of the crop rotation in recent years. This is a three-year study of a corn and peanut rotation
investigated Best Management Practices (BMPs) of nitrogen fertility level (336, 246, 157 kg/ha) and
irrigation strategies as follows: (i) GROW, mimicking grower’s practices, (ii) SWB, using a theoretical soil
water balance, (iii) SMS, monitoring volumetric water content measured by soil moisture sensors and
triggered using maximum allowable depletion (MAD) and field capacity (FC) as thresholds to refill the
soil profile, (iv) Reduced: irrigation (60% of GROW) representing a low irrigation treatment and (v) NON:
non-irrigated plots. The objectives were to determine the effect on yield of the various treatments as
well as nitrogen movement through the profile based on bi-weekly soil samples. During 2015, yield was
not significantly different across irrigated treatments; however, the non-irrigated treatment had
significantly lower yield than all other treatments except I2. Fertility rates 336 and 246 kg N/ha, or 246
and 157 kg N/ha were not significantly different; however, the 336 kg N/ha treatment was significantly
higher than 157 kg N/ha. In 2016, no significant differences in yield were found among irrigated
treatments, except versus the NON treatment which had significantly lower yield. Fertility treatments
did not differ. Irrigation and fertilizer were reduced without reducing yield by using BMPs compared to
conventional practices during the first two years of research. Movement nitrogen through the vadose
zone will be discussed.

Michael D. Dukes, PhD, PE

Professor
Univ Of Florida

Michael D. Dukes is a Professor and Irrigation Specialist at the University of Florida in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. He is currently Director, Center for Landscape Conservation & Ecology as well as a UF Water Institute Faculty Fellow. Michael obtained a B.A.S. in Agricultural Engineering and an M.C.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Delaware. He obtained a Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University. He joined the University of Florida in Gainesville in 2001. His interests are in the area of irrigation and water management, particularly in the area of efficient irrigation design and management, water conservation, and minimizing negative impacts of irrigated systems. Research activities include residential irrigation efficiency, and evaluation of “smart” irrigation control systems such as soil moisture sensor controllers or evapotranspiration based controllers. Extension efforts concentrate on implementation of irrigation control technologies to reduce over-irrigation and loss of nutrients. He is a Fellow of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and active in several committees and standards activities. He received the 2011 ASABE Young Extension Worker Award and the 2016 John Deere Gold Medal Award. He is Past-Chair of the Irrigation and Drainage Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Environmental Water Resources Institute. He has also been active in the Irrigation Association and received the Excellence in Education Award in 2014. He is a licensed professional engineer in Florida and a residential Certified Irrigation Designer.

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