It’s okay to let it down!

Jason Krutz, Irrigation Specialist
By Jason Krutz, Irrigation Specialist, Dan Roach, Ext. Associate and Bobby Golden, Rice and Soil Fertility, DREC, Mississippi State University July 8, 2014 14:59

It’s okay to let it down!

It’s okay to let it down!

Defining proper flooding of rice can be somewhat challenging depending who you talk to. One thing is for sure, to take advantage of the cost saving of straight levees and multiple inlet rice production, the depth of flood has to be managed. With the days of cheap water behind us and a limited amount of groundwater, evaluating water management needs to be addressed.

Rice does noPivot Ricet require a flood. With the introduction of “row rice”, which is similar to “aerobic rice” grown in other countries, fields were not flooded at all but just keep wet. One of the most recent studies by E.D. Vories and others, “Rice Production with Center Pivot Irrigation” stated yields of the most commonly planted rice varieties were comparable to flood based systems in their 2009-2010 study.

Now before you shoot the messenger! Please here us out! We are not asking you to grow row rice or dry up your fields, but we are asking you to evaluate your present water management scheme. It only makes eStLeveeRiceconomic sense to take a closer look into how we manage our rice water.

The Straight Levee production system did more for rice production than many other production practices. It allowed us to utilize more ground equipment, increased combine SideInleRiceefficiency, as well as use less water. The Straight Levee system average water use is 6 acre inches less than the Contour Levee system translating to $18 per acre in your pocket.

Multiple Inlet introduced in the late 90’s gave us a method to evenly water each pad utilizing poly pipe as our distribution system. Many growers with less than optimum well capacity have found that Multiple Inlet affords them the opportunity to water hard to water fields. Ten years of MSU research has shown the use of Multiple Inlet has allowed growers to save an additional 7 acre inches over the Straight Levee System. An additional $21 of savings.

We would likShallowFloode to encourage you to evaluate your present water management system. Manage for a shallow 2” flood on the top side of the pads and 4” on the bottom. When one evaluates the overall savings of maintaining a consistent shallow 2” flood on the top side of the pads, spending a little time extra time evaluating the water depth will pay large dividends.

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Jason Krutz, Irrigation Specialist
By Jason Krutz, Irrigation Specialist, Dan Roach, Ext. Associate and Bobby Golden, Rice and Soil Fertility, DREC, Mississippi State University July 8, 2014 14:59
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1 Comment

  1. John M. Riley, Extension Economist July 8, 15:16

    Y’all sound like economists here!

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