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Impacts of Furrow Irrigation Spacings in Sharkey Clay Soils Under Corn Production
Proceedings of the 2022 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2022 Authors: Freeland T.B., Gholson D., Kaur G., Singh G.

More than 40% of the land in the Mississippi Delta is classified as clayey soils. In MS, the majority of corn is produced on either sandy loam or silt loam soils. Clayey soils are now being brought into the list of soils growers produce corn on due to it's economic return. The risks associated with these soils, like frequent flooding and waterlogging, are a hurdle for farmers. Corn can lose 5-30% yield with each day of soils being flooding depending on the stage of corn. The objective of this research is to find out if altering furrow irrigation spacings can reduce or eliminate the waterlogging of corn in these soils and boost corn yield. A field experiment was conducted at NCAAR in 2021 using a complete randomized block design with four replications. Furrow irrigation spacings replications include every row irrigation (ER), 1-meter skip row irrigation (1R), 3-meter skip row irrigation (3R-I and 3R-NI), and 7-meter skip row irrigation (7R-I and 7R-NI). Data on irrigation water applied, volumetric water content, plant population, plant heights, crop water stress index, multispectral imagery, corn yield, and grain quality was collected from this study. No significant differences were found between ER and 3R-NI treatments for corn yield. The 7R-NI had 9.21% lower yield than all other treatments except 3R-I and 1R. The 3-meter skip row irrigation treatment showed 1.29% higher volumetric water content than all other treatments. The 3-meter skip row treatment held the highest volumetric water content across all seven middles, showing that the water moved laterally through the treatment. Results from the first year of this study indicate that there was ample subsurface later movement of water in the 3-meter skip row irrigation treatment to meet crop water demands.

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