Irrigation in North Mississippi?

Author(s): Tagert, M.; Karki, R.; Paz, J.

The majority of water permits in the state of Mississippi, by far, are for groundwater wells used to supply water for irrigated cropland in the Delta. These wells are fed by the shallow Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA), which is easily accessible and has supplied water for irrigation since roughly the 1970’s. Groundwater levels in the MRVAA have been declining in recent years as the number of irrigated acres in the Mississippi Delta continues to increase each year. As a result, much attention has been placed on maintaining the sustainability of the MRVAA and thus the sustainability of agriculture in the Mississippi Delta. However, an increasing number of producers in North Mississippi have been implementing irrigation to reduce risk during periods of drought and also to increase crop yields. North Mississippi producers face somewhat unique challenges when converting from dryland production to an irrigated system. This presentation will better quantify irrigation practices in North Mississippi and discuss some of the challenges and opportunities North Mississippi producers encounter when implementing irrigation.

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