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Tile Drainage, Sub-Irrigation and Furrow Irrigation for Soybean Production in Mid-South Mississippi Delta
Proceedings of the 2022 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2022 Authors: Singh G., Kaur G., Quintana N., Gholson D., Krutz L.J., Dodds D.

Mississippi State receives annual average precipitation of 1372 mm. More than 60% of the annual total precipitation is received during late winter or early spring (December to March). Low temperatures along with greater precipitation results in drainage issues in the Mississippi Delta Region. In this region land under row crop production is land-formed to 0.05 to 0.1% slope to help with better surface drainage. Surface and subsurface drainage has been a long-term issue that growers face during every growing season. Due to inadequate subsurface drainage planting, corn and soybean are often delayed in this region. Delayed planting combined with lower precipitation and higher temperatures during summers often results in yield drags. Therefore, supplemental irrigation as furrow irrigation is a common practice among the Mississippi growers. Tile drainage and sub-irrigation are new concepts in the Mid-South US. Sub-surface drainage using tile can be a potential game-changer for the Mississippi growers. Early planting windows for row crops in Mississippi are narrow. Tile drainage can help to drain the subsoil and can help with widening the planting windows. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate tile drainage plus subirrigation system in the Mississippi Delta. The specific objectives were to evaluate soybean production on non-tile drained non-irrigated, non-tile drained furrow irrigated, tile-drained furrow irrigated, and tile-drained sub-irrigation treatment plots and to evaluate the effect of the tile drainage on the drying and wetting of the soil profile for two different tile spacings. This research project was established in summer 2021 on a Sharkey clay soil series having more than 70% clay content with two tile spacings 15' and 20'. The year 2022 will be the first year to evaluate the effect of drainage treatments on soybean production. Sentek soil moisture sensors were installed in Jan. 2022 to a depth of 91 cm to monitor soil moisture changes from non-tile drained and tile-drainage treatments. Tile drainage installation design and preliminary data on soil and soil moisture will be presented at the conference.

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