Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2010-11 Deliverables

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

We mutually agree for Dr. Shad Nelson to deliver the following during the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 using funds from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative:

  1. Continue to evaluate Water Savings at a citrus field site located at the TAMUK Citrus Center in Weslaco Texas to evaluate the potential amount of water that can be saved using a surge flow device that irrigates narrow-border flooded citrus rows and polypipe.
  2. Monitor water savings at a multi-year water conservation research and demonstration on-farm site located in Monte Alto, TX (Rio Farms' land donated to TAMUK Citrus Center).  Citrus Center has invested in infrastructure assist in experimental sites to compare drip, microjet and narrow-border flood irrigation on six-year-old orange and grapefruit trees.  Additional funding support is needed to evaluate irrigation impacts and determine more accurate water savings for young (early mature, 6 year old) citrus trees as they come to full maturity.  Working in collaboration with Dr. Mamoudou Setamou, TAMUK Citrus Center Entomologist and Dr. Juan Enciso. Texas AgriLife Irrigation Engineer.
  3. Evaluate potential pesticide (atrazine) movement from sugarcane fields in response to furrow-flood irrigation and changes in on-farm harvesting methods.  Determining practical on-farm practices that will both improve water conservation while preserving water quality by decreasing degradation threat to the Rio Grande River and Arroyo Colorado.
  4. Acquire 1st year funding for a graduate student to work with Dr. Nelson on items 1 and 2 listed above and assists in retrieving other necessary water savings data.
  5. Present research results at a professional conferences demonstrating irrigation timing impacts regarding water conservation and water quality preservation at targeted meetings, such as the November 2010 Soil Science Society of America meetings to be held in Long Beach, CA.
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