Proposed by: Mace Bauer

Presenter: Bauer, M., Extension Agent, Uf/ifas, Lake City, FL 32055

North Florida farmers make a significant investment in irrigation equipment and energy to produce their crops. Information that assists producers to make more informed irrigation decisions will increase their yield potential, and may decrease input costs.
The objective of this work was to irrigate crops on-farms using a Growing Degree Day (GDD) based irrigation model specific to Florida and Southeastern USA crop, climate, and soil conditions.
A GDD-based irrigation model was developed for corn and peanuts which allows the use of an advanced system to assist irrigation decisions without the complications of tracking and recording evapotranspiration and other climate factors. The model appears to accurately estimate crop water demand at critical plant development stages.
An online portal was developed which integrated weather data and on-farm conditions including rainfall and irrigation. The user interface and output included an irrigation recommendation according to the specific crop and site conditions. Wireless soil moisture instrumentation was included to augment the farmer’s decision making process.
Farmers were willing to adopt this technology and have integrated it into their production system. One farmer reported eliminating four 1” irrigation events on 180 acres. This resulted in water savings of about 19 million gallons.

All Accepted Proposals