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Book: Irrigation of Agricultural Crops
Published by: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America




  1.  p. i-xxiii
    Agronomy Monograph 30.
    Irrigation of Agricultural Crops

    R.J. Lascano and R.E. Sojka (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-264-1

    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Published: November 12, 2012

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Front Matter


Irrigation has been an important part of agriculture for thousands of years. Even though humanity has had extensive experience in irrigation of crops to maximize performance, efficiency, and profitability, the science of irrigation continues to evolve. The current edition of Agronomy Monograph 30 presents the latest scientific information regarding irrigation. Authors contributing to this edition are scientists at the forefront of this important multifaceted area. The authors' diverse backgrounds in irrigation cover the broad spectrum of the science of irrigating crop plants. A variety of complex subjects are covered, which will add to the knowledge base of researchers, teachers, students, and others who desire more information on irrigation.

This edition of Irrigation of Agricultural Crops is a supplement to the earlier edition published in 1990. Subjects discussed in the current edition range from the latest information on monitoring technology, efficiency, to specific information tailored to individual crops. It is hoped that this Agronomy Monograph will provide the basis for improved management strategies associated with irrigation. As the worldwide human population continues to increase, applying the latest scientific principles associated with irrigating crops will be of growing importance.

We certainly appreciate the efforts of the editors, R.J. Lascano and R.E. Sojka, who have helped to develop an excellent book. The editors and the authors have developed an exceptional treatise on irrigation which will be of value for years to come. The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America are proud to present to you this book. We hope that you will find this book to be a valuable asset to your increased understanding of irrigation and that it stimulates further discussion and scientific investigations worldwide.

David A. Sleper, President of the American Society of Agronomy, 2006

Steven L. Fales, President of the Crop Science Society of America, 2006

Mary E. Collins, President of the Soil Science Society of American, 2006


It has been postulated that irrigation was the human activity, 8000 years ago, that ultimately produced what we now recognize as civilization. Today irrigation is one of the most important human activities sustaining civilization. The rapid rise in population and longevity since the 19th century is attributed to the advancement of modern medicine and an improved food supply. The latter resulted from improved agricultural technologies, such as crop genetics, fertilizers, herbicides, etc., and—more importantly—irrigation.

On average, irrigated crop yields are double those from unirrigated land. Improved crop quality and higher value crops raise the average value of irrigated production to triple that of non-irrigated crops. The yield advantage of irrigated agriculture spares vast expanses of natural lands from agricultural development. From 1900 until the 1950s the global land area under cultivation nearly doubled. Since the 1950s, cultivated land area has remained nearly constant while crop yields have steadily risen. This same period also saw a major expansion of irrigation. Growth of irrigated area slowed in the 1980s because the most easily exploited water supplies had been developed by then. That trend began changing in the 1990s as water conservation enabled irrigation of more land. Additional increases are now occurring as underdeveloped nations (or previously underdeveloped nations) can afford to develop water resources that were not economically feasible three decades ago.

Meanwhile, the human population continues to increase. It has been estimated that to meet the needs of the 8 billion population by 2025, the irrigated area must expand more than 20% and irrigated crop yields must improve by 40% above current yields. Thus, to meet these needs, it is fitting that the issues and the newest technologies affecting irrigation are again compiled in comprehensive reviews to facilitate efficient, sustainable, economical, and environmentally responsible irrigation.

In 1999, ASA President H.H. Cheng authorized ASA then-Editor-in-Chief Jerry Hatfield to identify an editorial committee to assess technology changes and emerging issues affecting irrigation with an eye toward revising and updating the 1990 edition of Agronomy Monograph 30, Irrigation of Agricultural Crops. We were appointed co-editors and were privileged to draw on the expertise of Floyd Adamsen, James Hook, Grant Cardon, and John Letey, who were appointed as editorial advisors to the project. The experience of editorial teams in compiling the earlier editions and versions of the monograph suggested that the undertaking could take a number of years to complete. While every effort was made to compress this time frame, in order to keep contributions as current as possible, following the initial planning, a period of nearly four years elapsed between submission of the first and final chapters received.

The contents of this revision should, perhaps more than any earlier printing, be seen as a supplement or update of the previous edition. The editorial team made a deliberate choice to avoid attempting to comprehensively cover fundamental principals, and to focus instead on new findings and new challenges. In this vein, readers will still find significant value in the 1990 edition of the monograph as a companion volume. We trust that in the course of reading this new edition, however, the users of this new information will find a refined relevancy of its contents.

We would like to express our profound thanks to the American Society of Agronomy for entrusting us with such an important task, to our editorial advisors for their vision and perspective, and to our authors for their hard work, dedication, and formidable combined intellectual capacity. And perhaps most of all, we thank the thousands of soil, water, and crop scientists and engineers, whose work is drawn upon and cited in this monograph, and to whom we literally owe so much of our well-being as we write these thoughts in 2006.

R.J. Lascano, Co-editor

Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center Lubbock, Texas

R.E. Sojka, Co-editor

USDA-ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Laboratory Kimberly, Idaho


J.P. Beasley, Jr., Extension Peanut Agronomist, P.O. Box 1209, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793; jbeasley@uga.edu

H.C. Bittenbender, Extension Specialist, Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, 3190 Maile Way, St. John 102, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822-2279; hcbitt@hawaii.edu

D.L. Bjorneberg, Irrigation Engineer, USDA-ARS, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, 3793 North 3600 East, Kimberly, ID 83341-5076; bdavid@nwisrl.ars.usda.gov

Brad Brown, Extension Crop Management Specialist, Southwest Idaho Research and Extension Center, 29603 University of Idaho Lane, Parma, ID 83660; bradb@uidaho.edu

Gerald W. Buchleiter, Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS, 2150 Centre Avenue, Bldg. D, Suite 320, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8119; gerald.buchleiter@ars.usda.gov

David W. Burger, Horticulturist and Plant Physiologist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; dwburger@ucdavis.edu

Michael D. Cahn, Farm Advisor, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA 93901; mdcahn@ucdavis.edu

Carl R. Camp, Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS (retired), Coastal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center, 2611 W. Lucas Street, Florence, SC 29501; camp@florence.ars.usda.gov

Grant E. Cardon, Extension Soils Specialist, Utah State University, 4820 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-4820; grantc@ext.usu.edu

Stephen T. Cockerham, Agricultural Operations, University of California-Riverside, 1060 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92507; stephen.cockerham@ucr.edu

Robert G. Evans, Supervisory Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS Agricultural Systems Research Unit, 1500 North Central Avenue, Sidney, MT 59270-4202; revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov

Steven R. Evett, USDA-ARS, 2300 Experiment Station Road, P.O. Box 10, Bushland, TX 79012-0010; srevett@cprl.ars.usda.gov

J.J. Gallian, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID

Joel Hamilton, Economics and Statistics, University of Idaho, 1102 Orchard Avenue, Moscow, ID 83843-2334

B.R. Hanson, Extension Irrigation and Drainage Specialist, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; brhanson@ucdavis.edu

Larry G. Heatherly, Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS (retired), 1118 Daniel Drive, Seymour, TN 37865; larryheatherly@bellsouth.net

Robert W. Hill, Extension Irrigation Engineering and Water Resources Specialist, Utah State University

Ray Huffaker, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6210; huffaker@wsu.edu

Kevin Jensen, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Forage and Range Research Laboratory, 690 North 1100 East, Logan, UT 84322-6300; kevin@cc.usu.edu

Iddo Kan, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management, The Faculty of Social Science, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel; kan@nrem.haifa.ac.il

Bruce A. Kimball, USDA-ARS, Arid Land Agricultural Research Center, 21881 North Cardon Lane, Maricopa, AZ 85239; bkimball@uswcl.ars.ag.gov

Dennis C. Kincaid, Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, Kimberly, ID

Robert J. Lascano, Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center, 3810 4th Street, Lubbock, TX 79415; r-lascano@tamu.edu

John Letey, Jr., Department of Environmental Science, 2217 Geology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521; john.letey@ucr.edu

Edward C. Martin, Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 West Smith-Enke Road, Maricopa, AZ 85239-3101; edmartin@cals.arizona.edu

J. Michael Moore, University of Georgia, P.O. Box 1209, Tifton, GA 31793; jmmoore@uga.edu

H. Neibling, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID

Michael D. Peel, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Forage and Range Research Laboratory, Utah State University, 695 North 1100 East, Logan, UT 84322-6300; mpeel@cc.usu.edu

Andre B. Pereira, Agrometeorologist, Dep. of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Av. Carlos Cavalcanti, 4748 - Bloco F, CEP 84030-900, Ponta Gross, Parana, Brazil; andre.pereira@pesquisador.cnpq.br

Jeffery D. Ray, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Crop Genetics and Production Research Unit, P.O. Box 345, Stoneville, MS 38776; jray@msastoneville.ars.usda.gov

Fabrice G. Renaud, Institute for Environment and Human Security, UNU-EHS Gorresstrasse 15, D-53113, Bonn, Germany; f.renaud@cranfield.ac.uk

E. John Sadler, Supervisory Soil Scientist, USDA-Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit, Room 269 Agricultural Engineering Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; sadler.j@missouri.edu

Hubert D. Scott, Director/University Professor of Soil Science, Agribusiness Center 545A, Mount Olive College, 634 Henderson Street, Mount Olive, NC 28365

Robert E. Sojka, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, 3793 North 3600 East, Kimberly, ID 83341-5076; sojka@nwisrl.ars.usda.gov

Clinton C. Shock, Plant Physiologist and Horticulturalist, Oregon State University, Malheur Experiment Station, 595 Onion Ave., Ontario, OR 97914; clinton.shock@oregonstate.edu

W. Stephens, Cranfield University, Silsoe, UK

Theodor S. Strelkoff, Research Hydraulic Engineer, USDA-ARS, U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center, 21881 North Cardon Lane, Maricopa, AZ 85239; fstrelkoff@uswcl.ars.ag.gov

Thomas J. Trout, Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS, Water Management Research, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building D, Suite 320, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8119; Thomas.Trout@ars.usda.gov

Blair L. Waldron, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Forage and Range Research Laboratory, Utah State University, 695 North 1100 East, Logan, UT 84322-6300; blair.waldron@usu.edu

Peter M. Waller, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, Shantz 526, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; pwaller@mail.arizona.edu

R. Wiedenfeld, Texas A&M University, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 2415 East Highway 83, Weslaco, TX 78596-8399; b-wiedenfeld@tamu.edu



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