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Title:Optimization of water use for field crop production in the upper Midwest
Author(s):Walker, P. N.; Thorne, M.D.; Benham, E.C.; Goetsch, W.D.
Subject(s):Water resource development
Water resource development--Illinois
Water use
Soil moisture
Geographic Coverage:Illinois (state)
Abstract:This project investigated combinations of both irrigation and drainage treatments in order to determine the best water management practices for field crop production in claypan soils in the upper Midwest. Four years of corn and one year of soybean yield data from forty field plots are presented. The irrigation treatments were sprinkler, furrow, and no irrigation; the drainage treatments were surface, subsurface, surface plus subsurface, and no drainage. The plots were located on a claypan soil in south-central Illinois. Sprinkler irrigation was provided by a solid set system. Furrow irrigation was done with gated pipes. The plots with surface drainage had a slope of 0.5%; the others were graded level. Subsurface drainage was provided by plastic tubing on 20-ft centers. Drainage water from the plots and surrounding areas was stored in ponds and recycled as irrigation water. The data indicate average corn yield increases of 13 and 50 bu/acre due to drainage and irrigation, respectively. Together, they act synergistically to produce an average yield increase of 92 bu/acre. This synergistic yield increase provides economic impetus to combining irrigation and drainage systems and storing drainage water in ponds or lakes for later use in irrigation. This combination will have the added effect of conserving water resources, of improving water use efficiency and downstream water quality, and of lessening downstream flooding.
Issue Date:1981-04
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Water Resources Center
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Sponsor:U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior
Rights Information:Copyright 1981 held by the authors
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-13

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