Variable Rate Irrigation Technology for Improving Water Use Efficiency

Author(s): Sui, R.

VRI technologies allow the producers to site-specifically apply irrigation water at variable rates within the field to adjust the temporal and spatial variability in soil and plant characteristics. Adoption of VRI has the potential to improve water use efficiency. VRI technologies are normally implemented on self-propelled center-pivot and linear-move sprinkler irrigation systems. VRI practices require specialized hardware and software. The hardware requirements include a GPS receiver to determine the spatial position of the irrigation system and an intelligent electronic device to control individual sprinklers or groups of sprinklers to deliver the desired amount irrigation water on each specific location within the field according to the VRI prescription. The software required includes the algorithms to calculate the water application rates and the computer programs to create VRI prescription maps. This proposed presentation will introduce the VRI technology and provide a case study on VRI application in Mississippi Delta for improving water use efficiency.

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