Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2007-08 Deliverables

Task 4 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Shad D. Nelson

Task 4: On-Farm Irrigation System Management

  1. Continue the development of water conservation strategies for South Texas citrus production using flood, micro-spray and drip irrigation systems.
  2. Hire one new Ph.D. student to oversee development of new research projects involving water conservation strategies in citrus production in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Initiate work on correlating water conservation impacts on citrus phytonutrient status.
  3. Establish a new research site containing mature citrus trees to evaluate the influence of water deficit irrigation using flood irrigation and its impact on fruit quality, tree stand survival and water-use efficiency.
  4. Initiate new collaborative research project with Drs. Juan Enciso, John Jifon and Mamoudou Setamou at a field site located in Monte Alto, TX (land donated by Rio Farms) where newly planted grapefruit (3-4 year-old trees) and orange trees are currently flood-irrigated until well established. We plan to evaluate crop physiological stress response to water conservation strategies.
  5. 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 in collaboration with Dr. Frederick Parker, Ag Economist, TAMUĀ–Kingsville.
  6. Provide data associated with these water management systems to stakeholders, Extension agents and the scientific community through professional society presentations and newsletters (Agricultural Water Conservation Demonstration Initiative [ADI] newsletters and TAMUĀ–Kingsville Citrus Center newsletters).
  7. Present findings at 5th Annual TAMUS Pathways to the Doctorate Symposium, Annual ASA meeting and/or Rio Grande Valley Horticultural Society annual meeting in 2007-08.
  8. Present water savings and irrigation use efficiency results at Annual Rio Grande Basin Initiative Conference in spring 2008, and mid-year meetings with Task 4 group.
  9. Publish one manuscript in national/internal peer-reviewed journal.
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