Turning the PHAUCET software on for Delta soybeans
Producers can check the field and assess how well the crop was watered at a time more convenient to their schedules, he said.
In most cases, timers should pay for themselves in about two seasons.
“PHAUCET could increase water use efficiency while at the same time reduce watering times and thus reduce producer costs in irrigation,” Eubank said, whose work focuses on soybeans.
Many Mississippi soybean producers irrigate their crops five or six times a season by applying 2 to 4 inches of water an acre per irrigation.
“We have compared PHAUCET with standard irrigation practices on several producer fields, and analyzed the number of irrigations during the season, the amount of water, the duration of each irrigation event and soybean yields between both systems,” Eubank said.
Preliminary results over a three-year period have shown about a 20 percent savings in both pumping times and water use with the PHAUCET system over the conventional system, he said.
“We hope that these numbers will continue to hold true. If they do, and PHAUCET is widely adopted, farmers could reduce or reverse the declining underground water table,” Krutz said.
The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board is funding this research. With a production value of $860 million last year, soybeans were Mississippi’s leading row crop.
Producers can download the PHAUCET program at no charge from the Yazoo-Mississippi Water Management District’s website at http://www.ymd.org/phaucet.htm.