Integration of Information Technology for Improved Water and Nitrogen Management with Center Pivot Irrigation
Irrigation scheduling is a major factor in water use efficiency and environmental impact of irrigated agriculture. In the U.S., irrigation uses a large portion of total freshwater use, consuming almost 6 times more water than that used for domestic purposes. However, 40% of irrigation water nationally is lost to non-consumptive uses, including deep percolation and the consequent leaching of agricultural chemicals. The most effective way to reduce the losses is to improve irrigation scheduling. Despite much research, producers are currently using scientific irrigation scheduling at low and declining levels, for reasons including complexity, difficulty, and time and equipment requirements. The purpose of this project is to develop a flexible plug and play network of soil water sensors for center-pivots that will process and visually display real
time information and irrigation recommendation(s) at the center pivot control panel so that producers can easily make informed irrigation management decisions without having to configure or understand the technology.