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irrigation

Keeping Things Simple

Monitoring soil moisture and scheduling irrigation doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective, as one Texas High Plains grower finds. By Vicky Boyd Managing Editor When it comes to soil moisture monitoring, David Carter of Levelland, Texas, likes to keep it simple. The same consultant who scouts his fields for pests during the season — Darrell Kitten — also ... Read More »

Irrigation Strategies – Part 2

The West and the Southwest are areas of the Cotton Belt that typically experience water shortages. Instead of giving up on trying to irrigate their crops, cotton farmers have adopted systems to make the most of the water that they have. “California is the only state that has to rely fully on irrigation to meet crop water needs,” says Bob Hutmacher, University of California Extension cotton specialist. “We are growing cotton in a dry environment with essentially no chance of rainfall during most of our cotton-growing season. Arizona growers may get growing-season water from monsoon rains, but there is little chance of that for most California producers. “In the past, when we had more consistent, favorable water supplies, better quality water, and weren’t competing as much with permanent crops, furrow irrigation was a typical system used by cotton farmers. Today, we still have large acreages of level basin irrigation – a type of border system – on land well suited for it, such as the finer-textured lake bottom land in the San Joaquin Valley. For these specific soil types, soil characteristics allow this ground to be irrigated quite efficiently at low costs with the level basin system.” Read More »

‘Cotton Brought Us To The Dance’

By Carroll Smith Editor Matt and Sherrie Miles come from multi-generational Arkansas cotton families. Although cotton is in their blood, they farmed only 180 acres last year. In 2016, they embraced the crop once again by planting 3,300 acres. “Cotton brought us to the dance, and we haven’t forgotten that,” Matt says. The Arkansas couple were high school sweethearts, and ... Read More »

Manage Bloom Period Carefully

ARKANSAS Even with the difficult start we have experienced with this crop, we should be on track to find flowers by July 4. The status of our cotton plants at first flower reveals much about the past and gives us an indication of what we must do down the road to end up where we want to be. Ideally, we ... Read More »

Irrigating For High Yields

By Guy Collins And Keith Edmisten North Carolina State University Authors’ note: These general irrigation guidelines were developed several years ago by other faculty at the University of Georgia. In some cases, deviating from this model may be appropriate. Much of this information is based on my (Collins) personal research experience while in Georgia. We recommend this model as a ... Read More »

Irrigation Strategies

Irrigation Strategies for cotton

Technology improves water-use efficiency and profitability. By Carroll Smith Editor Part 1  Irrigation Strategies – Part 2 is available here. In that installment, irrigation experts will address efficient, profitable irrigation methods used in the Southwest and West regions of the Cotton Belt. Watering cotton to prevent drought stress and improve yields is not a new concept. However, implementing modern technology to improve water-use efficiency ... Read More »

Irrigating Cotton With Sensors

By Rad Yager Whether you’re a cotton breeder, researcher or grower, it’s time to consider using soil moisture sensors if you irrigate. Basically, they will help you understand what’s going on deep below the soil surface. Here are some tips on how to get started with the technology. Soil moisture sensors continue to improve and the network of consultants using ... Read More »