Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension
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Tools for Irrigation Stewardship Lyndon Kelley, MSU Extension. Thanks to Dr. Steve Miller - MSU Ag Engineering Dr. Ted Loudon - MSU Ag Engineering Dr. Ron Goldy - MSU Extension Dr. Jeff Andreasen – MSU Geography. Size , Scale and Make-up. Michigan – 452,000 acres. Indiana 313,000 acres.

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Tools for Irrigation Stewardship Lyndon Kelley, MSU Extension

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Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Tools for Irrigation StewardshipLyndon Kelley, MSU Extension

Thanks to Dr. Steve Miller - MSU Ag EngineeringDr. Ted Loudon - MSU Ag EngineeringDr. Ron Goldy - MSU ExtensionDr. Jeff Andreasen – MSU Geography


Size scale and make up

Size , Scale and Make-up

Michigan – 452,000 acres

Indiana 313,000 acres

2002 Agricultural Census


Size scale and make up1

Size , Scale and Make-up

Indiana 313,000 acres

Michigan – 452,000 acres

Summarized from 2002 Agricultural Census

11 Counties = 73.8 % of total

11 Counties = 69.2 % of total


Size scale and make up2

Size , Scale and Make-up

Indiana / Michigan Similarities

  • Predominantly Sandy Loam soils Irrigated

  • Water availability – abundant to scarce

  • Heavy irrigation - St. Joseph River basin

  • Knox / Montcalm – geographic, Veg. outliers

  • Irrigated crops make-up – Corn (commercial, seed,)- soybeans, vegetables, alfalfa, ornamentals

  • Water Regulation – modified riparian rights

Summarized from 2002 Agricultural Census


Size scale and make up3

Size , Scale and Make-up

Indiana / Michigan Differences

  • Indiana has a heavier emphasis on irrigated corn

  • Michigan has a heavier emphasis on irrigated vegetables

  • Indiana has a more mature and less complicated water use regulation system (registration, complaints, reporting)

Summarized from 2002 Agricultural Census


Targeted audience related to irrigation

Targeted Audience Related to Irrigation

Producers

  • Field crop production

  • Vegetable production

  • Small fruit and tree fruit

  • Turf and ornamentals

    Contractors of irrigated crop

  • Seed corn production companies

  • Vegetable and fruit processor / contractors


Technical irrigation issues

Technical Irrigation Issues

  • Tools for Irrigation Stewardship – Getting the most out of the water we use

  • Helping producers to understand the water cycle for their farms.

  • Working with irrigation equipment suppliers to help the irrigation related industries move economically and environmentally forward.


Tools for irrigation stewardship

Tools for Irrigation Stewardship

  • Irrigation System Uniformity

  • Preventing Irrigation Runoff (comparing irrigation application rate to soil infiltration rate)

  • Irrigation Scheduling

  • Backflow protection

  • Avoiding water use conflicts

  • Record keeping


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Needed Irrigation

5.5”

Normal rainfall

34.6

Crop need

15.6” total


Equip groundwater conservation program

Equip Groundwater Conservation Program

An NRCS Program to support Irrigation System Evaluations and System Corrections


Equip groundwater conservation program michigan

Equip Groundwater Conservation Program - Michigan

  • Qualifications

    • System must have been in place for at least 2 years

    • Must use irrigation scheduling (Computerized or Paper System)

    • System uniformity coefficient must be below 85% to enter, and above 85% to qualify for payments.

    • Need to have an irrigation conservation plan

      • Write up that describes system, water source, how the irrigation is applied,


Eqip groundwater conservation program michigan

EQIP Groundwater Conservation Program - Michigan

  • Compensation:

    • A one time payment of $50/acre.

    • A maximum of 160 acres per producer can be enrolled in this program.

    • Funds for this program are split between irrigation management and dairy plate water cooler 100% water recovery, total funds available somewhere between $380,000.

    • See you local NRCS office.

    • Deadline to signup for this program will be March 15, 2007 at the Montcalm County NRCS Office.


Conservation security program reward the best inspire the rest

Conservation Security ProgramReward the best, Inspire the rest.

  • Trend in Agriculture Government program is away from Subsidy based, toward Environmental protection.

  • Contracts for 5 or 10 years and payments of 2-8$/ acre (or more) are expected.

  • Available in counties starting in a rotational basis.

  • Farm must first meet soil erosion and water quality concerns.


Conservation security program reward the best inspire the rest1

Conservation Security ProgramReward the best, Inspire the rest.

Two years of prior practice record will be required.

Irrigation scheduling.

Irrigation system evaluation.

Records: water use, scheduling decisions, system repairs, evaluation data & modifications.


Irrigation system uniformity

Irrigation System Uniformity

  • An 1” application should be 1” everywhere in the irrigated field

  • 10% or less deviation from the average is ideal.

  • Over applied area will likely be over applied each

  • application

  • Under applied areas will likely be under applied each

  • application

  • A 30% deviation on a field in an 8” irrigation application year will have areas receiving as little as 5.6” and as great as 10.4”

  • Repair all visible system leaks and problems first.


Irrigation system uniformity1

Irrigation System Uniformity

Basic system evaluation

Collect enough uniform container to to place every 10 feet the length of the system or across the application pattern.

Spread the container every ten feet from the center point to the outside edge of the application area.

Run the machine at standard setting over the container.

Measure and record the water volume caught by each container

Note sample point varying greater than 50% of the average.


Irrigation system uniformity options

Irrigation System Uniformity -Options

  • Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Technicians

  • Irrigator trainings ( MSU Ext., MGSP, NRCS )

  • Private consultants


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Sprinkler overlap with end gun

Tower

1

Tower

3

Tower

5

Tower

7

Tower

8

http://web1.msue.msu.edu/stjoseph/anr/anr.htm


Preventing irrigation runoff comparing irrigation application rate to soil infiltration rate

Preventing Irrigation Runoff(comparing irrigation application rate to soil infiltration rate)


Preventing irrigation runoff comparing irrigation application rate to soil infiltration rate1

Preventing Irrigation Runoff(comparing irrigation application rate to soil infiltration rate)

  • Sprinkler package or nozzle selection along with pressure dictates water application rate .

  • Factors that increase runoff :

  • Small Wetted area or throw of sprinkler

  • Low Pressure

  • Larger applications volumes

  • Soil compaction

  • Heavy soils

  • Slope

  • Row hilling


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

  • Instructions for completing the Evaluating Potential Irrigation Runoff form :

  • Identify the areas of the irrigated field that has the lowest infiltration rates. (heavy soils, slopes, surface compaction).

  • Select a transit line in the wetted area just behind the machine that covers the identified lowest infiltration rates of the field identified above.


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

  • Instructions for completing the Evaluating Potential Irrigation Runoff form – continued

  • Pace or measure 50 feet between observations starting at the pivot point and progressing to the furthest reaches of the machine.

  • Record observations for each location; look at several (4-5 areas) representing the row contour and differences in row traffic of the location. Record any specific concerns that may affect the application (drips or leaks) or affect the soils ability to take in water (compaction, row contours)

Key for Observation column

A- no observed puddling, ponding or sheen between rows

B- puddling, ponding or sheen between rows identified, but no observed runoff or flow of water

C-observed runoff or flow of water


Irrigation scheduling right to farm gaamps

Irrigation SchedulingRight to Farm GAAMPs

  • Irrigation scheduling for each unit or field

  • Irrigation scheduling is the process of determining when it is necessary to irrigate and how much water to apply

  • Irrigation water is applied to replace the water used by the plant.


Irrigation scheduling

Irrigation Scheduling

  • Method to determine the appropriate amount of water to be applied to a crop at the correct time to achieve healthy plants and conserve water

  • Can measure soil moisture

    Or

  • estimate evapotranspiration (ET) using weather data

    Potential ET measured by weighing lysimeter


Determining irrigation requirements

Determining irrigation requirements

  • The plant water requirement includes the water lost by evaporation into the atmosphere from the soil and soil surface

  • and by transpiration, which is the amount of water used by the plant.

  • The combination of these is evapotranspiration (ET).


Meteorologically et depends on

Meteorologically, ET depends on…

Evapotranspiration (ET) =fn (net radiation) +

fn (temperature) +

fn (wind speed) +

fn (air humidity)


Irrigation scheduling checkbook method

Irrigation Scheduling Checkbook Method


Primary factors

Primary Factors

  • Know available soil water for each unit

  • Known depth of rooting for each crop

  • Know allowable soil moisture depletion at each stage of plant growth

  • Use evapotranspiration data to estimate crop water use

  • Measure rainfall in each field

  • Use container capacity for nursery crops


Think of your soil as a bank

Think of your soil as a bank

Rainfall and irrigation water are deposit into the bank

Plant water use is a removalfrom the bank


Think of your soil as a bank1

Think of your soil as a bank

Soil type :

Heavier soil can hold more water / foot of depth than light soils

Water holding capacity:

The soil (bank) can hold only a given volume of water before it allow it to pass lower down.

Intake rate:

Water applied faster than the soil intake rate is lost.

Deletion:

Plants may can pull out only 30 – 60% of the water

Rooting depth:

The plant can only get water to the depth of it’s roots.

Water lost from the bottom of the profile can wash out (leach) water soluble nutrients and pesticides.


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Calculating Water Holding Capacity


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Calculating Water Holding Capacity


Available water holding capacity

Available Water Holding Capacity


Irrigation scheduling checkbook method university of minnesota

Irrigation Scheduling Checkbook Method –University of Minnesota

  • Items to Conduct Checkbook Irrigation Scheduling

  • Two or more rain gauges

  • Max-Min thermometer or access to local temperature reports

  • Soil probe or in field moisture sensors

  • Daily crop water use table or local ET hotline or website report

  • Soil water balance worksheets

  • Estimate of soil moisture holding capacity


Rain gauges

Rain Gauges

  • Basic unit – 2 inch opening

  • Cost less than $10

  • One rain gauge for each 40 acres.

  • Recording rain gauge cost $50 - $100


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

60”

SW 1/4

Frasier

3.0

30”

50

1.5

2.23

2.06

1.89

1.69

1.49

2.07

1.90

Jun 21

Jun 22

Jun 23

Jun 24

Jun 25

Jun 26

75

75

85

75

75

75

.17

.17

.20

.20

.17

.17

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

0.75


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

60”

SW 1/4

Frasier

60”

SW 1/4

Frasier

3.0

30”

3.0

30”

50

1.5

50

1.5

2.23

2.06

1.89

1.69

1.49

2.07

1.90

2.23

2.06

1.89

1.69

1.49

2.07

1.90

0.77

0.94

1.11

1.31

1.51

0.93

1.10

Jun 21

Jun 22

Jun 23

Jun 24

Jun 25

Jun 26

75

75

85

75

75

75

.17

.17

.20

.20

.17

.17

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

Jun 21

Jun 22

Jun 23

Jun 24

Jun 25

Jun 26

75

75

85

75

75

75

.17

.17

.20

.20

.17

.17

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

-0-

0.75

0.75


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Average Water Use for Christmas trees

(estimated at 1 inch/week) in inches/day

Estimate of daily ET at 1 inch per week Estimate


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Table 9. Average water use for any other crops when at full canopy at different times of the season

Source: Data estimates full potential of daily ET per week by Killen, and was placed in the above table by Wright in January 2002.


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Field beans

Corn

Soys

Potato

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Corn

Field

beans

Soys

From Minnesota Extension bulletin “Irrigation Scheduling”, assuming temperature 80-89


Estimates of et

Estimates of ET

  • Net radiation

  • Max and min temperatures

  • Relative humidly

  • Wind

    Purdue Agronomy web site – MichIna Irrigation Scheduler: Est. From High / Low temp. & date

    www.agry.purdue.edu/irrigation/IrrDown.htm


Estimates of et1

Estimates of ET

U of Wisconsin web site -Next/rad radar : http://www.soils.wisc.edu/wimnext/

  • Net radiation

  • Max and min temperatures

  • Relative humidly

  • Wind

    Provides the maximum water removal for the day


Converting acre inches to gallons for trickle irrigation

Converting acre inches to gallonsfor trickle irrigation

  • Calculate the % of area covered by trees

    (% of area you intend to water / tree )

  • One acre = 43,560 sq.ft.

  • One acre inch = 27,154 gallons

    Example:

    The large tree you are watering have a diameter of 6.5 ft.

    6.5 ft. x 6.5 ft. = 42 sq.ft. roughly 1/1000 of an acre

    26 to 27 gallon / tree

    (include uncontrolled grass or weed area that is watered in tree area)


Irrigation scheduling checkbook challenges

Irrigation Scheduling Checkbook Challenges

Errors will accumulate over time -Weekly ground truthing needed

Rainfall variability is more than often considered

Only "effective” rainfall and irrigation should be considered

Only water entering root zone is "effective”


Methods to estimate soil moisture

Methods to Estimate Soil Moisture

  • Feel an Appearance

  • Electrical resistance – electrodes on blocks in soil

  • Tensiometers – measures soil moisture tension

  • Other probes – Nuetron, TDR


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Squeeze, Feel and Look


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Not very accurate

Doesn’t sample the entire root zone

Experience with the site important


Gravimetric moisture sampling

Gravimetric Moisture sampling

The standard for accuracy by which other are measured.

  • Known volume of soil

  • Wet weight compared to dry weight

  • Used to calibrate other systems

  • Very time consuming


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Tensiometers


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Soil water deficit estimates in inches per foot for various soil tensions.

*1500 centibars is permanent wilting point and the soil water deficit value is equal to the soil's total available water holding capacity.


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Tensiometers

Good low tech system

Common problem is to break tension and loose reading near wilt point

Must be installed with the tip in good contact with the soil

Allow to come into equilibrium(few hours to a few days)


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Resistance


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Resistance Blocks

Delmhorst Instrument Co.

MEA


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Resistance Blocks

Good Soil Contact Important

Some Last Only One Season (gypsum)

Good in Fine Textured Soils

Readings Vary With Soil Type


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Neutron Probe

Washington State University

New Mexico State University


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Neutron Probe

Probe emits neutrons that interact with soil hydrogen which is primarily present in soil water

Fast and Accurate (except in the top 8”)

Expensive - $4000+

Radiation Hazard (need a license)


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Time Domain Reflectometry

Mesa Systems Co.


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Time Domain Reflectometry

TDR devices send electrical pulses into the soil and measure the velocity of the reflected wave

Difficult to install

Accurate

Useful for all soil types

Expensive: $6000 - $7000


F requency d omain r eflectometry

FrequencyDomainReflectometry


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Frequency Domain Reflectometry

Determines soil Electrical Capacitance by measuring the difference between an emitted signal and the returning signal

Proper installation of access tubes important. (No air between tube and soil)


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Tube installation can be difficult (clay/stones)

Tube removal can be difficult

Need to establish baseline readings at installation

Rapid and Accurate but a little pricey ~$5000


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Qualitative evaluation of soil water monitoring devices.

A score of 1 is least favorable while a score of 10 is most favorable.

AQ - Aquaterr Probe

TM - Tensiometer

GB - Gypsum Block

WB - Watermark Block

NP - Neutron Probe

TDR -Time Domain Reflectometry

GS - Gravimetric Sampling

AP - Troxler Sentry 200-AP


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Are appropriate backflow prevention devices in place and properly maintained if fertigation or chemigation is used?

Backflow prevention safety devices are usedand properly maintained if fertigation or chemigation are used.

2.9 Irrigation Management Practices


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Are appropriate backflow prevention devices in place and properly maintained if fertigation or chemigation is used?

Distance requirements between well and contamination, and agricultural chemical/fertilizer storage and preparation areas are at least 150 feet from the well.

2.11 Irrigation Management Practices


Irrigation management to protect groundwater

Irrigation management to Protect Groundwater

  • Backflow protection with Air gap and vacuum relief

    -required for chemigation and fertigation

    - good idea for all systems.

    -Interlocks between nitrogen pump and irrigation pump.

    -Backflow protection between injection point and supply tank.


Chemigation fertigation systems safety interlock

Chemigation / Fertigation Systems - Safety Interlock


Are split applications of nitrogen fertilizer used when nitrogen is used in irrigated field

Are split applications of nitrogen fertilizer used when nitrogen is used in irrigated field?

Split applications of nitrogen fertilizer are used when nitrogen is used in an irrigated field.N application does not exceed MSU recommendation.

2.8 Irrigation Management Practices


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

SUBSURFACE DRIP


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

21% not irrigated


Subsurface drip irrigation

Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Subsurface DripSurface Drip


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Avoiding water use conflicts

Except for cost, well

water is the preferred

water source for irrigation.

A well owner may not diminish the use of well water of his neighbors

If a neighbor’s well use is impaired you

legally must rectify the situation if responsible.


Legal aspects groundwater use good irrigator response to neighbor s well problems

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

Legal aspects – groundwater useGood irrigator response to neighbor’s well problems:

  • pump from another location –

    (There is no restriction on transport or use from other locations from wells).


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

Proactive Options for Agricultural Consider Using Surface Water ACT 177, P.A. 2003 only affect well water use

Riparian Doctrine –Surface Water -Reasonable use rule- allowing diminished flow for extraordinary use such as recreational, municipal, industrial or agriculture use, as long as other riparian owner Natural Uses where not impaired

-Extraordinary uses have been considered equal.


Proactive options for agricultural

Proactive Options for Agricultural

Legal aspects of groundwater use have not changed – A well owner may not diminish the use of well water of his neighbors

A prudent response to a neighbors substantiated complaint of being negatively effect by an irrigation well is to offer to deepen their well and consider it an irrigation cost

Identify the neighbor you may affect and layout a plan of action to prevent or provide remediation of the problem if it occurs.


Proactive options for agricultural1

Proactive Options for Agricultural

Identify the neighbor you may affect and layout a plan of action for remediation of the problem if it occurs.

  • You canget scanned well logs off of the internet (1999 and older) by Township and section at:

    • www.deq.state.mi.us/well-logs

  • Well logs that are 2000 and newer are available on WELLOGIC at:

    • http://dwrp.deq.state. mi.us/wellogic

    • You need a username and password for wellogic,

      (issued to registered well drillers and agencies)


Does your well affect neighbors

Groundwater

Flow

Home

well

Does your well affect neighbors?

Irrigation

well

Groundwater

flow direction

Home

well

Zone of influence

Irrigation

well

Zone of influence

Home

well


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

  • GW DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS: PA. 177

WELL DRILLERS ASSESSMENT

ON-SITE

INVESTIGATION

COMPLAINT

FILING

COMPLAINT

VERIFICATION

RESOLUTION

CIRCUIT

COURT

APPEAL

PROPOSE

REMEDY

DEQ

ISSUES

ORDER


Tools for irrigation stewardship lyndon kelley msu extension

  • PROACTIVE GROUNDWATER DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Identify neighbor your

Well may effect

Devise a plan for them to contact

you if Well problems arise

If a well problem arises

Contact

well driller

for assessment

of well

Circuit court avoided

Well driller

proposes remedy

Formal complaint

filing avoided

Farmer is a

neighborhood

hero

Large well user pays

RESOLUTION


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