Task 4 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Shad D. Nelson
We mutually agree for Shad D. Nelson to deliver the following during the period of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, using funds from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative:
- Continue the development of water conservation strategies for South Texas citrus production using flood, micro-spray and drip irrigation systems. Harvest for the 4th year’s cropping cycle will occur in January 2007 and results will be compared against 2003-2005 harvest results. Water savings and irrigation use efficiency results will be made available for Rio Grande Basin Initiative 2007 annual conference.
- Apply annual N and P fertilization treatments in combination with irrigation and compost applications to citrus trees to determine the fertility and irrigation requirements for citrus production under varying management strategies.
- Replace real-time soil moisture sensors and monitor rooting depth water-use over the 2006 growing season.
- Calculate amount of water saved and water-use efficiency under the different irrigation systems and involve economic assessment of using water conservation strategies in citrus production.
- Provide data associated with these water management systems to stakeholders, extension agents and scientific community through professional society presentations and publications (Rio Grande Valley Horticultural Society, American Society of Agronomy).
- Present findings at 4th Annual TAMUS Pathways to the Doctorate Symposium, November 2006; and Rio Grande Valley Horticultural Society annual meeting, Weslaco, Texas, January 2007.
- Present results at annual Rio Grande Basin Initiative Conference to be held in March 2007, and mid-year meetings with Task 4 On-Farm Irrigation System Management group.
- Submit 2003-2005 citrus production and water quantity results in manuscript form to nationally recognized journal, such as Water Research, Agriculture Water Management, and Water Resources Research.
- Initiate work at new research site located in Monte Alto, Texas (land donated by Rio Farms) where newly planted grapefruit (2-3 year-old trees) and orange trees are currently flood irrigated until well established. We plan to convert this site to drip irrigation and microjet irrigation (depending upon adequate funding). The aim is to focus on water-use in newly planted groves and crop water-use over tree development and eventual fruit production when mature. This project will be the next phase associated with this on-farm assessment of “efficient irrigation for water conservation in the Rio Grande Valley citrus.”