When The Faucet Runs Dry

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"Small Research, Big Potential"

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When the Faucet Runs DryImpact of Water on the Machine Called Agriculture : 

When the Faucet Runs DryImpact of Water on the Machine Called Agriculture “Small Research: Big Potential”

Distribution of Earth’s Water : 

Distribution of Earth’s Water 97% oceans – salt water 3 % fresh waters 2% inaccessible – snow/ice/glaciers < 1% accessible – surface or ground water 70% used for Agricultural Usages

Humans and Water Usage : 

Humans and Water Usage The last 100 years human population has increased 300%; while water consumption has grown 600% Current Water Usage

Humans and Water Usage : 

Humans and Water Usage The next 20 years a 40% increase in human water consumption is predicted; during which time agricultural water consumption is expected to increase by 17% Water for drinking will trump water for agriculture. The next 25 years it is expected that developing countries will increase water withdrawals (less water allowed for agriculture) from Agriculture by 14% but efficient use of water will only improve by 4% An Unsustainable Balance

Agriculture and Water : 

Agriculture and Water Water along with new seed breeding, fertilizers and chemicals has allowed agriculture to keep up with food demands “Our water supplies today are more stressed and ill distributed. All must realize that one cannot manage one without managing the other.” FOOD is WATER, and WATER is FOOD!

Irrigation In Agriculture : 

Irrigation In Agriculture Irrigated agriculture lands will increase 23% in the next 25 years By 2030 70% of all grain crops will use some form of irrigation In developing worlds 60% of ag production is rain-fed Much of the world still uses ditch irrigation – in which 80% of the water is lost to evaporation or seepage

Drip Irrigation : 

Drip Irrigation Uses small drips (trickle or micro irrigation) to water crops First used in 1866 in Afghanistan – used clay lines and pots Plastic pipe was first used for drip irrigation in Australia and later refined with plastic emitters in Israel First drip tape used in the United States was in 1960 called Dew Hose

Advantages of Drip Irrigation : 

Advantages of Drip Irrigation Increased Water Efficiency – uses only 30-50% water with 95 % efficiency Increased Energy Efficiency – low pressures 8-12 psi Reduce Disease Pressure Reduced Weed Problems Increase Yields and Quality - by 50-100%

Advantages of Drip Irrigation : 

Advantages of Drip Irrigation Increased Water Efficiency – uses only 30-50% water with 95 % efficiency Increased Energy Efficiency – low pressures 8-12 psi Reduce Disease Pressure Reduced Weed Problems Increase Yields and Quality - by 50-100%

Experimental Details : 

Experimental Details Conducted at WKU farm Bowling Green, Ky. Summer 2010 (drought) Summer 2011 (periods of heavy rain) Plasticulture Black Drip irrigation Fertigation Staked ID-36 spray program ‘Mountain Fresh Plus’ 4/24/2012 10 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

Experimental Design : 

Experimental Design Randomized Complete Block 4 treatments 4 replications Statistical Analysis – SAS p < 0.05 Means separated by Duncan’s MRT if sig. F test 4/24/2012 11 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricutural Development Fund

Treatments : 

Treatments ID 36 – University of Kentucky Recommendation Acre Inch per Week - (not overhead) ½ ID 36 Water Balance Method Pan Evaporation at Nolin Lake Dam, ACOE Crop Coefficient, Source: Tekinel and Çevik (1993) Computed Water needs Weekly = Water Balance Method 4/24/2012 12 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

How Much to Apply? : 

How Much to Apply? UK recommendation for tomatoes 230,300 gallons /12 week ID 36 Extension Publication May overestimate water demands Original source of information unknown 4/24/2012 13 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

How Much to Apply? : 

How Much to Apply? Acre inch per week – rule of thumb used by many horticulture crops Overhead - 27,154.285 gallons Plasticulture – 13,577 gallons on trickle/drip irrigation A total of 162,924 gallons over a 12 week growing period

Water Balance Method168,119 gallons per 12 weeks : 

Water Balance Method168,119 gallons per 12 weeks Most efficient method based on Stage of crop growth Transplant vs. fruiting Environmental conditions Drives demand for water Soil water-holding capacity Running a checkbook balance 4/24/2012 15 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricutural Development Fund

Water Balance Method : 

Water Balance Method Pan Evaporation Data (weekly avg) Reflects plant Transpiration Temperature, humidity, solar radiation and wind Crop Coefficient Crop specific Model of Water use through crop growth stages Based on actual data Determine weekly tomato water usage 4/24/2012 16 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

Crop Coefficient Model : 

Crop Coefficient Model Tekinel and Çevik (1993) 4/24/2012 17 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricutural Development Fund

Hypothesis : 

Hypothesis Standard recommendations overestimate water needs of tomatoes Over/under estimate needs through season Reduction of water usage will not reduce yield and quality 4/24/2012 18 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

Irrigation Manipulation : 

Irrigation Manipulation Checked measured by water meters on each treatment Metered by gallon Run times never exceeded soil water holding capacity crider silt loam with water capacity of 2-2.5 Three treatments were altered weekly for water supply ID 36 230,300 ½ ID 36 115,150 Water Balance Method 168,119 Confirmation by meters and tensiometers 4/24/2012 19 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricutural Development Fund

Slide 20: 

over over under 4/24/2012 20 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricutural Development Fund

Slide 21: 

4/24/2012 21 73% 100% 68% 58%

Harvest : 

Harvest Weekly for 7 weeks - (7/12) 2010 – (8/11) 2011 ‘Breaker’ stage = harvest Sorted by USDA grades Quality Marketable – Unmarketable (Cull) Size Small, medium, large, extra large Weighed - (lbs) Noted radial cracks 4/24/2012 22 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

Slide 23: 

Table 1. The effects of four irrigation treatments on marketable yield and yields of small, medium, large, and extra-large fruit as well as percent of culls of Mt. Fresh Plus tomatoes grown in Bowling Green, Ky., in 2010. Treatments are ordered based on marketable yield (highest to lowest).1 4/24/2012 23

Table 2. The effects of four irrigation treatments on marketable yield and yields of small, medium, large, and extra-large fruit as well as percent of culls of Mt. Fresh Plus tomatoes grown in Bowling Green, Ky., in 2011. Treatments are ordered based on marketable yield (highest to lowest).1 : 

Table 2. The effects of four irrigation treatments on marketable yield and yields of small, medium, large, and extra-large fruit as well as percent of culls of Mt. Fresh Plus tomatoes grown in Bowling Green, Ky., in 2011. Treatments are ordered based on marketable yield (highest to lowest).1

Conclusion : 

Conclusion Based upon two years data we can produce as many quality marketable tomatoes with less irrigation ½ the high recommended volume irrigation significantly influences yield during a drought year and no significance in a wet year data suggest that water distribution may play just as important role as volume and future studies may be needed an acre inch per week is no different than the highest volume used in a drought or a wet season; however was significantly higher yields than lower volumes of water during a drought 4/24/2012 25 Partially Funded By: KY Hort Council Grant From the Agricultural Development Fund

Slide 26: 

FOOD is WATER, and WATER is FOOD!

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