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Irrigation Season Approaching

Irrigation Season Approaching

With irrigation season fast approaching its worth reminding producers that the RISER program (The Row-Crop Irrigation Science and Extension Research) was developed as a science based approach to evaluating irrigation Best Management Practices (BMPs) here in the Delta. The RISER program is designed to assist producers in reducing water use while maintaining yield and profitability. Growers participating in the RISER program agree to allow the MSU researcher to manage the irrigation decisions on one field while the producer manages the control.

Since 2013, the RISER program encompassed over fifty producer fields covering all major soil types here in the Delta. While maintaining yield, the Riser program participants reduced their water use by 25% over the controls. These results demostrate the potential for computerized hole selection (PHAUCET or Pipe Planner), surge irrigation,and soil moisture sensors to improve water use efficiency and producer profitability.
With observations from twenty locations, the RISER soybean trials yields were equivalent to the fields managed by the producer. Water use was reduced by 21% and water use efficiency improved by 36%. Producer profitability was increased by $13 per acre.

Similarly, the RISER corn trials consisted of sixteen locations. Results from RISER corn trials demonstrate the utility of irrigation timing tools such as moisture sensors. Utilizing moisture sensors to trigger irrigation allowed the MSU researcher to reduce water use by 3.9 acre inches, a 41% reduction in comparison to the producer. Corn yields were increased by 7 bushels and overall profitability was increased by $27 per acre.


Dr. Drew Gholson, MSU Irrigation Specialist, is requesting growers interested in taking a look at the benefits of the RISER program on their farm or with any irrigation questions contact him at (979) 255 7018.