Thursday, June 23, 2016

Irrigation affects wheat ripening




Note the color difference and plant height differences between irrigated (taller, greener plants) and non-irrigated (shorter, paler plants). This water x nitrogen study is funded by WSARE. The study is a collaboration between Olga Walsh (University of Idaho, Parma R&E Center), Jessica Torrion (Montana State UniversityNorth-Central RC), and Xi Liang (University of Idaho, Aberdeen R&E Center). 

Idaho
Wheat is an integral crop for the western U.S., where it is grown as a main cash crop or as a rotational crop in combination with other high-value crops. According to Olga Walsh, University of Idaho, there is an urgent need to develop more efficient nutrient management strategies in order to maximize wheat grain yields and enhance grain quality. Recent technologies such as high-resolution multispectral sensors, hyperspectral digital cameras, spectroradiometers, and other optical sensors could play an important role in managing nutrients within crop production systems. Accurate and timely information regarding both water and N status obtained with remote sensors can be of tremendous help for irrigation and fertilization decision making. This project aims to demonstrate that sensor-based technologies, utilized in combination with traditional practices such as soil testing and evapotranspiration monitoring, can substantially improve the management of N and water. It will enable the project team to identify the most valuable environmental and plant measurements for developing such a methodology.

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