Irrigation Methods and Scheduling in the Delta Region of Mississippi: Current Status and Strategies to Improve Irrigation Efficiency


Even though annual rainfall is high in the Delta region of Mississippi, only 30% occurs during the months in which the major crops are produced, making irrigation often necessary to meet crop water needs and to avoid risk of yield and profitability loss. Approximately, 65% of the farmland in this region is irrigated. The shallow Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer is the major source of water for irrigation and for aquaculture in the predominant catfish industry. This groundwater is being heavily used as row-crop irrigation has increased tremendously. Water level in this aquifer has declined significantly over the past twenty five years, with overdraft of approximately 370 million cubic meters of water per year. Moreover, the common irrigation practices in the Delta re-gion of Mississippi do not use water efficiently, further depleting the ground water and making ir-rigation more expensive to producers due to increasing energy prices. Irrigation experts in the re-gion have tested and verified various methods and tools that increase irrigation efficiency. This article presents a review of the current status of the irrigation practices in the Delta region of Mis-sissippi, and the improved methods and tools that are available to increase irrigation efficiency and to reduce energy costs for producers in the region as well as to stop the overdraft of the declining aquifer, ensuring its sustainable use.

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Kebede, H. , Fisher, D. , Sui, R. and Reddy, K. (2014) Irrigation Methods and Scheduling in the Delta Region of Mississippi: Current Status and Strategies to Improve Irrigation Efficiency. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 2917-2928. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.520307.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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