Improving Nitrogen Fertilizer Management in Surface-Irrigated Cotton

We propose conducting research in central Arizona to compare the common regional practice of N fertigation with knifed N injections in surface-irrigated cotton (i.e., level furrow irrigation). Additionally, we will compare reflectance-based nitrogen fertilizer management with soil test-based management. Furrow and other surface irrigation methods are still the most common irrigation mode for cotton in Arizona and worldwide.

IPNI-2010-USA-AZ08

We propose conducting research in central Arizona to compare the common regional practice of N fertigation with knifed N injections in surface-irrigated cotton (i. e. , level furrow irrigation). Additionally, we will compare reflectance-based nitrogen fertilizer management with soil test-based management. Furrow and other surface irrigation methods are still the most common irrigation mode for cotton in Arizona and worldwide. Read more


Year of initiation:2010
Year of completion:2014
Map:

Interpretive Summary

Nitrogen fertilizer is the main constraint to cotton production in the western USA, following adequate water. Research shows N recovery in furrow-irrigated cotton ranges from only 15 to 34 %. There is interest in center-pivot or linear-move overhead sprinkler irrigation systems for cotton, however N fertilizer recommendations are lacking.

The land and canal infrastructure in central Arizona means that level-basin surface irrigation in raised beds is the predominant approach to cotton production. Nitrogen fertilizer is usually managed with preplant ground applications followed by “fertigations” dribbled into the canal. There is uncertainty about the efficacy and uniformity of N fertigations in surface irrigation systems. There are several ways to improve N management based on 4R principles.

The first year of this project was devoted to comparing N sources for furrow-irrigated cotton, develop a tool for predicting N fertilizer response using canopy reflectance-based N management in surface-irrigated cotton, and constructing a N balance for surface-irrigated cotton (quantify total N uptake, recovery N use efficiency, NO3 leaching, and denitrification losses). High pre-plant soil NO3 precluded yield response to N this year.

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Updates & Reports

2010

Project Description


Project Leader

Kevin Bronson, USDA-ARS


Project Cooperators

Pedro Andrade-Sanchez
Doug Hunsaker
Eduardo Bautista


IPNI Staff

R. Mikkelsen


Location

Americas \ Northern America \ USA \ Arizona


Topics

irrigation

cotton

Nitrogen (N)