Navigation Links
Water-conserving irrigation strategies minimize overwatering, runoff

EAST LANSING, MIConserving water and reducing the environmental impact of runoff are two of the most important issues confronting container nursery operations. Current regulations and laws in five states limit water consumption by container nurseries, and some states also limit nutrient concentrations in runoff. Excessive runoff from container plants often results from poor irrigation efficiency; in some cases as little as 13% to 26% of overhead irrigation is retained in the container.

When runoff is not properly managed, water, fertilizers, and other agricultural chemicals can end up in surrounding water resources, with the potential for environmental contamination. Facing predictions of increased water costs, lower water availability, and increasingly stringent legislation, nursery owners have a keen interest in implementing irrigation practices that conserve water and reduce runoff without adversely affecting crop quality.

Aaron L. Warsaw, R. Thomas Fernandez, Bert M. Cregg, and Jeffrey A. Andresen of Michigan State University published a research experiment in HortScience that investigated whether irrigation scheduling based on daily water use (DWU)the combined loss of water from plant transpiration and substrate evaporationcould conserve water without negatively impacting plant growth. The researchers set out to determine the effect of scheduling irrigation according to DWU on water conservation and plant growth, determine DWU and water use efficiency (WUE) of several types of common container-grown woody ornamentals, and evaluate the effect of irrigation volume on substrate soluble salt levels.

Fernandez explained the significance of the experiment, remarking; "Applying irrigation based on plant demand or daily water use is a key concept in water conserving irrigation scheduling. However, scientific information regarding the water use of woody ornamentals is limited. Quantifying the DWU of a wide range of container-grown woody ornamentals will allow various species and cultivars to be categorized by water use so those with similar water uses can be grouped together, thus minimizing overwatering and excess runoff."

Ten different woody ornamental plants were grown in containers in 2006 and 2007, and five in 2008. Overhead irrigation was applied in four treatments: a control irrigation rate, irrigation scheduled to replace 100% DWU per application, irrigation alternating every other application with 100% replacement of DWU and 75% DWU, and irrigation scheduled on a three application cycle replacing 100% DWU followed by two applications of 75% DWU. Irrigation applications were separated by at least 24 hours during the experiment.

Daily water use was calculated by measuring the difference in volumetric moisture content 1 hour after irrigation and just prior to irrigation the following day. Species were classified as low, moderate, and high water users with six low, five moderate, and 13 high water users in the study.

According to the study, "scheduling irrigation according to plant DWU substantially reduced the amount of irrigation applied compared with a control for 23 of the 24 species of container-grown ornamentals evaluated in this experiment while producing larger or the same sized plants for all species."

The authors note that the best DWU treatment to use will depend on a number of factors. The ideal irrigation regimen should provide the most economical balance between crop returns and water management concerns; the cost of water, type of irrigation system, and programming capabilities of the system should all be considered when deciding which regimen to use. "For example, a nursery in close proximity to a large urban area in a state where water use and runoff are highly regulated may elect to irrigate at a slight deficit using either the 100-75 or 100-75-75 irrigation schedules to minimize water extraction and runoff. However, using deficit or DWU irrigation techniques requires monitoring of soluble salts, which, although not found in our study, may build up under these regimes depending on climatic factors."


Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related medicine news :

1. Saline Irrigation Eases Chronic Nasal Symptoms
2. Nasal Irrigation Can Help Fight Spring Allergies
3. A New Interactive Consumer Experience Highlighting Successful Weight Loss Strategies is Coming to a Mall Near You
4. New strategies with greater antitumorous efficacy
5. Eclipsys User Network Brings Eclipsys Clients Together to Share Outcome Improvement Strategies
6. Research suggests targeted treatment strategies for lupus
7. Free White Paper Details Hospital Strategies for Meeting Joint Commission Compliance Requirements in the Environment of Care
8. UCSF launches action tank to advance promising global health strategies
9. New Lancet Study: Tobacco Control Measures Are Effective and Affordable Strategies to Reduce Chronic Disease Deaths Globally
10. New strategies work to put cancer on the firing line
11. NHCAA Releases Fraud Fighters Handbook Outlining Strategies to Protect the Public Against Health Care Fraud
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Water-conserving irrigation strategies minimize overwatering, runoff
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... awards today at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte ... have authored journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial ... of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial ... of 2016, and to report top line data ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PARK RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... caliber of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders ... hands. The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... refused to let type 1 diabetes stand in the ... Lilly Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 The vast majority of ... dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, ... visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time. ... especially grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  ... nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: