AgEBB Alt Header

Bootheel Irrigation Survey
1997 - 2005

Prepared by Joe Henggeler, Extension Agricultural Engineer
Commercial Agricultural Program


Average irrigated acreage of those surveyed: 878 acres
Average acreage irrigation increase planned for next season: 5.8%

I. Systems Used (based on acreage)

Furrow, rigid pipe 9 % Furrow, rigid using surge 1 %
Furrow, poly-pipe 29 % Furrow, poly-pipe using surge 7 %
Center pivot, towable 12 % Center pivot, fixed 44 %

II. Irrigation Fuel Costs

Energy costs have risen for all fuel types. Figure 1 shows reported energy cost per acre by fuel type.

Figure 1
Fig. 1 - Cost on energy for pumping (corn, cotton, and soybean only) by fuel type, southeast Missouri region, 1997-2005.

III. Maintenance and Repairs

Table 1. Maintenance and Repair Cost, Bootheel of Missouri, 2002
  Per Farmer Per Well Per Acre
Wells $1,444 $ 138 $ 1.65
Pumps $1,571 $ 150 $ 1.79
System
(average all types)
$2,577 $ 246 $ 2.94
Total $5,592 $ 534 $ 6.37
note: 83.8 acres/well site
10.5 wells per farmer

IV. How Effective Is Irrigation?

Despite receiving nearly 50 inches of annual rainfall, irrigation still increases yields in southeast Missouri. In the period 1997-2005, irrigation increased production over dryland yields by 39%, 27%, 60%, and 56% for corn, cotton, full-season soybeans, and double-crop soybeans, respectively. While these increases are substantial, farmers sometimes reported that their irrigated yield was no greater, or actually even less, then their dryland yields. Cotton was the crop that was most likely not to have a yield increase from irrigation (this occurs in about 1 out every 11 fields), which reflects the fact that irrigation of cotton in a sub-humid area is challenging. Even excellent cotton irrigators occasionally had fields that did not show a yield increase from irrigation. Despite the fact that cotton had occasions where no yield was gained from irrigation, its average yield increase produced the highest gross profits of any other commodity. Table 2 shows the percentage of time yield increase did not occur.

Table 2. Percentage of respondents who reported no yield gain from irrigation, southeastern Missouri region, 1997-2005.
Corn 5.6%
Cotton 9.3%
Full-Season Soybeans 8.2%
Double-Crop Soybeans 4.0%

Figure 2
Fig. 2 - Increase in yield for corn and cotton due to irrigation.

The increase in yield stemming from irrigation is shown in Fig. 2 (corn and cotton) and Fig. 3 (full- and double-crop soybeans). Both figures have running-average trend lines shown. This yield difference of irrigated over dryland is the best way to quantify a region's irrigation expertise. An increase in the yield enhancement over time for soybeans can be seen, meaning that soybean irrigators are becoming more astute. In the last three or four years, Missouri has experienced excellent yields in most crops. Non-irrigated crops tend to especially benefit from these good growing seasons, so the yield difference between dryland and irrigated becomes less in those bumper years, and is shown in the trend lines decreasing in recent years.

Figure 3
Fig. 3 - Increase in yield for full- and double-crop soybean due to irrigation.

V. Irrigation Practices Affecting Yield

1. Irrigation Scheduling. Irrigation scheduling improves yields for all crops. Irrigators, who used scheduling, when compared to their counterpart irrigators who did not schedule, out-yielded them by 11 bu/acre corn, 169 lbs lint/ac cotton, 5 bu/acre full season soybeans, and 3 bu/acre double crop soybeans (Table 3). Corn irrigators are the most likely to schedule, but in recent years increased numbers of cotton producers have adopted scheduling. Scheduling increases the number of irrigations applied per season. Those that schedule irrigate approximately one additional time more for flood and about three additional times more for pivot then do non-schedulers. The economic advantage from scheduling is greatest for the cotton irrigators, who would gross $110 more per acre then their counter parts who did not employ scheduling. The economic advantage gained by scheduling for the other crops were $30/acre, $29/acre, and $14/acre for corn, full season soybeans, and double crop soybeans, respectively. The Arkansas Scheduler computer program and the Woodruff charts appear to be equally effective; both are free, and can be obtained at:

http://www.aragriculture.org/computer_programs/irrigation_scheduling/default.asp
http://agebb.missouri.edu/irrigate/woodruff/

Table 3. Yields of crops based on irrigation scheduling method employed, samples size and % users, plus yield benefit from scheduling irrigation, southeast Missouri region, 2000-2005
Crop No scheduling method Scheduling Methodologies Benefit from using irrigation scheduling
    Ark. Scheduler computer program Woodruff irrigation charts Sensors  
Corn 171.2 bu/ac
72 % of users
n = 174
179.9 bu/ac
13 % of users
n = 31
180.6 bu/ac
15 % of users
n = 36
193.0 bu/ac
0.4 % of users
n = 1
+ 10.8 bu/ac
6 % increase
Cotton 900 lbs/ac
76 % of users
n = 91
1033 lbs/ac
18 % of users
n = 22
1061 lbs/ac
4 % of users
n = 5
1250 lbs/ac
1 % of users
n = 1
+ 169 lbs/ac
19 % increase
Full Season Soybean 44.9 bu/ac
87 % of users
n = 140
50.3 bu/ac
9 % of users
n = 14
49.1 bu/ac
4 % of users
n = 7
--- + 5.2 bu/ac
12 % increase
Double Crop soybean 39.3 bu/ac
90 % of users
n = 75
43.9 bu/ac
6 % of users
n = 5
45.0 bu/ac
4 % of users
n = 3
--- + 2.5 bu/ac
6 % increase

Figure 3
Fig. 3 - Percentage of farmers using irrigation scheduling by crop, southeast Missouri region, 2000-2005.

2. Surge Flow. Nearly 1 out of 4 furrow irrigated field in southeast Missouri makes use of surge flow. Cotton flood irrigators used the most surge (37% of the fields), with the other crops having a use rate of 20-25%. Surge flow fields have higher yields then do regular furrow irrigated fields for corn, cotton, and full-season soybeans. The increase in gross profits is highest for cotton, which has almost a $100/ac increase. Fields using surge flow get about 2 more irrigation applications then do regularly irrigated fields, except in the case of cotton, where seasonal application numbers for the two methods were nearly equally. The yields for surge and non-surge furrow irrigation, differences in gross profits, and differences in the numbers of seasonal irrigations for these crops are shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Surge versus non-Surge Yields, Yield Differences, Differences in Gross Profits, and Additional Number of Irrigations Applied with Surge for Various Crops, southeast Missouri region, 1997-2005
  Yield Yield Difference % Increase from Surge Gross Profit Differences from Surge [a] Additional # of Irrigations Applied with Surge
  Surge No Surge
Corn 179.2 bu/ac
n = 30
167.9 bu/ac
n = 124
11.4 bu/ac 6.8 % $31.35/ac 2.2
Cotton 993.0 lbs/ac
n = 32
850.0 lbs/ac
n = 54
143.0 lbs/ac 16.8 % $92.95/ac -0.1
[a] Gross profits based on corn at $2.75/bu, cotton at $0.65/lb, and soybeans at $5.50/bu. Differences in irrigation costs not included.

3. Corn Yield as Affected by Type of Pivot. Corn was the only crop to show any significant difference in yields based on whether the pivot used was a fixed pivot or a towable one. The fixed pivot had a 12.6 bu/ac increase in yield over the towable one. The irrigation depth applied, number of seasonal irrigations, and total irrigation applied was similar for both types of pivots. Table 5 shows yields for fixed versus towable pivots, yield differences, and differences in gross profits for the southeast Missouri region, 1997-2005.

Table 5. Corn Yield for Fixed versus Towable Pivots, Yield Differences, and Differences in Gross Profits, southeast Missouri region, 1997-2005
  Yield Yield Difference % Increase from Fixed Pivot Gross Profit Differences for Fixed Pivot [a]
  Fixed Pivot Towable Pivot
Corn 169.5 bu/ac
n = 120
156.9 bu/ac
n = 20
16.6 bu/ac 8.0% $34.65/ac
[a] Gross profits based on corn at $2.75/bu.

4. Soybean Yield as Affected by Method of Irrigation. Soybeans, both full-season and double crop, were the only crop to show any significant difference in yields based on whether furrow irrigation or pivot irrigation was employed. For both types of soybeans, furrow irrigation increased yield by about 5 ½ bu/acre or $30 per acre. Table 6 shows yields for furrow versus pivot, yield differences, and differences in gross profits for full-season and double-crop soybeans in the southeast Missouri region, 1997-2005. It is important to note that it may not be the method of irrigation that is significant, but instead the fact that furrow-irrigated soybeans are planted on a bed. Two things point to this. First, when pivot yield data is broken down further and split up into "bedded" or "flat" we find that the pivot-irrigated, full-season soybeans with beds averaged 47.0 bu/acre, whereas the pivot-irrigated, flat-planted soybeans yielded 41.6 bu/acre, which is similar to the results shown in Table 6. Secondly, when data is broken down as to whether fields were laser-leveled or not laser-leveled , we again see there is a large difference. For full-season soybeans the yield difference is over 7 bu/acre (17.6%) higher when laser-leveled. The difference in yield for (1) flood versus pivot, (2) bedded versus flat, and (3) lasered versus not-lasered collectively point to the fact that surface drainage is the prime factor in yield differences.

Table 6. Full-season and Double-crop Soybean Yield for Furrow versus Pivot, Yield Differences, and Differences in Gross Profits, southeast Missouri region, 1997-2005
  Yield Yield Difference % Increase from Furrow Gross Profit Differences for Furrow [a]
  Furrow Pivot
Full-season Soybeans 47.0 bu/ac
n = 122
41.6 bu/ac
n = 81
5.4 bu/ac 13.0% $29.70/ac
Double-crop Soybeans 43.9 bu/ac
n = 35
41.6 bu/ac
n = 81
5.6 bu/ac 14.6% $30.80/ac
[a] Gross profits based on soybeans at $5.50/bu.

VI. Farming Practices Affecting Yield

1. Fertigation. Fertigating appears to increase the yield for corn irrigators using pivots by about 10 bu/acre. Data on yield for fertigated versus non-fertigated corn fields, yield differences, percent increase, and differences in gross profits for the southeast Missouri region is seen in Table 7.

Table 7. Corn Yield for Fertigated versus non-fertigated Pivot Fields, Yield Differences, and Differences in Gross Profits, southeast Missouri region, 2001-2005
  Yield Yield Difference % Increase from Fertigating Gross Profit Differences for Fertigating [a]
  Fertigated Non-fertigated
Corn 182.8 bu/ac
n = 28
172.9 bu/ac
n = 52
9.9 bu/ac 5.7% $27.31/ac
[a] Gross profits based on corn at $2.75/bu.

2. Planting Date

A. Cotton. Yield and planting data from 87 cotton fields for the period 2001-2005 were used to generate the graph shown in Figure 4. Planting dates in the survey occurred as early as March 31st and as late as June 6th. About 60% of the fields in the survey were planted by May 1. The average yield for all fields planted on any one date was used. The plotted data are 3-day time averages used to take the bounce out of the data set. Planting either too early or too late appears to be detrimental to yield. The data suggests that, on average, planting too early subjects a field to a 23 lb/acre per day loss for dates prior to April 15. However, planting beyond the safe time range (after May 15) is actually worse, and yield drops about 30 lbs/ac per day after this point.

These results are similar to replicated planting date trials that were conducted for six years at the University of Missouri Delta Center in Portageville. Their conclusions were that, on average, a May 8th planting gave the best yields and that plantings done in late May/early June gave the worst results.

B. Corn. Yield and planting data from 166 corn fields for the period 2001-2005 were used to generate the graph shown in Figure 5. Planting dates in the survey occurred as early as February 29th and as late as June 9th. The plotted data are 3-day time averages used to take the bounce out of the data set. Unlike cotton, the early planting dates did not seem to reduce yield. However, planting after the first week of May appears to reduce yield by about 1 ½ bu/acre/day.

C. Soybean. Full-season and double-crop soybeans were grouped together for this analysis. Yield and planting data from 171 soybean fields for the period 2001-2005 were used to generate the graph shown in Figure 6. Planting dates in the survey occurred as early as March 29th and as late as July 18th. Like cotton, planting soybeans either too early or too late appeared to affect yield. The average yield for all fields planted on any one date was used. The plotted data are 5-day time averages used to take the bounce out of the data set.

Figure 4
Fig. 4. Cotton lint yield versus planting date for Bootheel region of Missouri from Bootheel Irrigation Survey, 2001 to 2005. Yield values are 3-day time averages.
Figure 5
Fig. 5. Corn yield versus planting date for Bootheel region of Missouri from Bootheel Irrigation Survey, 2001 to 2005. Yield values are 3-day time averages.
Figure 6
Fig. 6. Soybean yield versus planting date for Bootheel region of Missouri from Bootheel Irrigation Survey, 2001 to 2005. Yield values are 5-day time averages.

The data suggests that, on average, planting too early (i.e., before April 26) provides no yield increase and, in fact, may decrease yield by 0.4 bu/acre per day for dates earlier than April 26. Nearly a quarter to a third of soybeans in the region is double-crop soybeans, so by nature they have later planting dates. The yield difference between full-season and double-crop soybeans for the period 1997-2005 is 4.7 bu/acre. Overall, yields do not appear to drop from late-planting until June 5 is passed. At that point yields decrease ? bu/ac per day after that.

It should be noted that factors other then the actual planting date are in play in determining final soybean yield. The Maturity Group (MG) of the soybean does effect yield, and the MG used varies with the season. At this time, there are not enough data points in the survey to attempt to segregated yield as a function of both planting date and MG.

3. Relative Maturity

Relative Maturity (RM) appears to have impact on corn yield. Figure 7a shows yield versus RM value from 96 corn growers in the southeast Missouri region who responded in the years 2001 to 2005. Sliding averages have been used to take the bounce out of the data. It may appear that yields top out with RM values in the 113- to 115-day range. This is similar to information that retired ARS scientist, Larry Heatherly, compiled from recent mid-South variety trials. Heatherly indicated that medium-season hybrids (114-116 RM) were more consistent, and normally were better yielders then were the early- or late-season hybrids.

However, when RM versus yield is plotted by year for the irrigated corn hybrid trials conducted by the University of Missouri Variety Testing program for 2004-2006 (Fig. 7b) the results appear to indicate, in at least two of the three years (2005 was an inconsistent corn year), that yields increase linearly up to RM = 118. The values used in Figure 7b are the mean values for all hybrids having a similar RM value from the different test locations done each year (two or three locations depending on the year).

Figure 7a
Fig. 7a. Corn Yield versus Relative Maturity as indicated by respondents of the Bootheel Irrigation Survey, 2001 to 2005. Sliding averages are used.
Figure 7b
Fig. 7b. Corn Yield versus Relative Maturity from hybrids tested by the University of Missouri Variety Testing program in southeast Missouri, 2004-2006.

Caveat: There are only a few hybrids entered into the MU variety trials having high RM values (>117). Therefore, should just one do poorly then the average of the whole RM group is impacted. Secondly, all hybrids entered into a variety test must be treated similarly. This may lead to irrigation being cut-off too early on high RM hybrids if the majority of entries in the trial have reached black layer and do not need more irrigation. It should be pointed out that 7 out of 10 of the top Missouri yields in the irrigated class of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) yield championships had RMs of 117 or greater. The Missouri has produced 6 NCGA national champions in the various irrigated classes in the last two years (5 in 2006 and 1 in 2005) and four out of six of these national champions had RMs of either 118 or 119.

There are two take-home messages that can be derived from figures 7a and 7b. The first is that hybrids with really short RM values should probably be avoided; all data sets agree on this. Secondly, there is some indication that high RM hybrids may not being watered long enough in the season. The hybrids with RM values of around 113 to 115 did do the best in the respondent's survey. However, this appears to contradict the replicated MU variety trials which seem to indicate that the yield envelope can probably be pushed with RMs up to 118. Furthermore, under excellent management we know that local farmers have had superior yields with hybrids having RMs of 119. These longer varieties might require another inch and a half of water, so one should not short final yield by cutting off water too soon. Watering should continue until at least the ½ milk line stage is reached. When growing these long-season hybrids it may be wise to collect data on test weight, since this reflects late-season moisture management.

4. Bedding Up

In 2003 information on planting flat versus planting on a bed (small or high bed) was begun being collected. Since sample response was small, small bed and high bed data was pulled together as "bed". There was little yield difference between flat and bed on corn. However, cotton and soybeans (both full-season and double-crop) showed yield increases when planting on a bed. Table 8 shows data on yield for flat- versus bed-planted cotton, full-season, and double-crop soybeans, yield differences, percent increase, and differences in gross profits for the southeast Missouri region.

Table 8. Flat- versus Bed-Planted Yields, Yield Differences, and Differences in Gross Profits for Various Crops, southeast Missouri region, 2003-2005
  Yield Yield Difference % Increase from Beds Gross Profit Differences from Bed-Planting [a]
  Bed-Planted Flat-Planted
Corn 1117.7 lbs/ac
n = 37
887.5 lbs/ac
n = 4
230.2 lbs/ac 25.9 % $ 149.63/ac
Full-season Soybeans 51.9 bu/ac
n = 13
47.6 bu/ac
n = 24
4.3 bu/ac 9.1 % $ 23.65/ac
Double-crop Soybeans 47.6 bu/ac
n = 9
41.7 bu/ac
n = 15
5.8 bu/ac 13.9 % $ 31.90/ac
[a]Gross profits based on cotton at $0.65/lb and soybeans at $5.50/bu.

5. Laser Leveling

Laser-leveling is popular and has been increasing over time as shown in Figure 8. The vast majority of surface-irrigated fields in the southeast Missouri region have been laser leveled. Data indicates that today around 80% of these fields are so treated. Even pivot-irrigated fields are often laser-leveled. Data from the survey shows levels at about 20%. However, other sources show that this could be as high as 33% and that about 5-10% of dryland fields have been laser leveled.

There appears to be a yield increase associated with lasering for the same crops that responded to bed-planting (i.e., cotton and soybeans [both full-season and double-crop]). Table 9 shows data on yield for lasered- versus non-lasered cotton, full-season, and double-crop soybeans, yield differences, percent increase, and differences in gross profits for the southeast Missouri region. The fact that there is a similar response to beds and to lasering may indicate the importance of controlling surface drainage problems in southeast Missouri. Corn may not respond to either bedding up or lasering because it is often planted on well-drained soils.

Table 9. Laser Leveled- versus Non-Laser Leveled Yields, Yield Differences, and Differences in Gross Profits for Various Crops, southeast Missouri region, 1998-2005
  Yield Yield Difference % Increase from Lasering Gross Profit Differences from Lasering [a]
  Lasered Not Lasered
Cotton 919.2 lbs/ac
n = 74
850.1 lbs/ac
n = 81
69.1 lbs/ac 8.1 % $44.92/ac
Full-season Soybeans 48.2 bu/ac
n = 112
41.0 bu/ac
n = 93
7.2 bu/ac 17.5 % $39.60/ac
Double-crop Soybeans 41.8 bu/ac
n = 33
39.6 bu/ac
n = 73
2.2 bu/ac 5.6 % $12.10/ac
[a]Gross profits based on cotton at $0.65/lb and soybeans at $5.50/bu.
Figure 8
Fig. 8. Percentage of fields laser-leveled for flood- and pivot-irrigated fields in southeast Missouri region, 1998-2005.
Table 10. CORN yield in bushels per acre for various soil types as affected by minimum tilling, deep ripping, liming, and lasering, southeast Missouri region, 1998-2005 [a].
  Minimum Till Deep Ripped Limed Lasered
Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No
Clay/gumbo 173.0
n = 27
166.9
n = 19
167.2
n = 13
166.6
n = 8
171.6
n = 26
161.0
n = 26
157.8
n = 29
177.0
n = 23
Sand 174.6
n = 43
173.6
n = 52
170.8
n = 82
161.8
n = 29
167.4
n = 29
171.2
n = 32
175.6
n = 34
165.3
n = 77
Silt 176.5
n = 49
175.2
n = 43
172.3
n = 72
169.8
n = 52
170.5
n = 65
172.1
n = 58
173.8
n = 59
169.0
n = 64
Other 157.5
n = 8
201.0
n = 2
163.0
n = 6
179.0
n = 8
179.0
n = 8
143.3
n = 3
154.7
n = 6
186.8
n = 5
AVERAGE 173.9
n = 127
173.6
n = 116
171.3
n = 171
166.4
n = 126
170.6
n = 128
168.7
n = 119
169.8
n = 128
168.9
n = 169
AVERAGE YIELD
CHANGE
+ 0.4 + 4.9 + 1.9 + 0.8
[a] Starting period for collecting various data was 1998, except for minimum till data which was started in 2000.

Table 11. COTTON yield in lbs of lint per acre for various soil types as affected by minimum tilling, deep ripping, liming, and lasering, southeast Missouri region, 1998-2005 [a].
  Minimum Till Deep Ripped Limed Lasered
Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No
Clay/gumbo 940.7
n = 8
772.4
n = 5
992.3
n = 7
680.8
n = 8
1013.0
n = 5
745.8
n = 10
895.2
n = 6
808.6
n = 9
Sand 978.7
n = 53
851.8
n = 8
885.4
n = 56
997.6
n = 25
897.3
n = 49
899.3
n = 32
947.7
n = 37
855.4
n = 44
Silt 950.1
n = 26
710.6
n = 7
748.7
n = 27
971.5
n = 19
874.2
n = 28
788.7
n = 18
886.7
n = 27
775.4
n = 19
Other 1003.4
n = 7
958.3
n = 6
1004.0
n = 11
865.2
n = 2
1044.4
n = 10
776.7
n = 3
911.0
n = 4
1014.4
n = 9
AVERAGE 969.44
n = 94
823.1
n = 26
869.2
n = 101
936.6
n = 54
912.6
n = 92
837.5
n = 63
919.2
n = 74
849.1
n = 81
AVERAGE YIELD
CHANGE
+ 146.3 - 67.4 + 75.1
+ 70.1
[a] Starting period for collecting various data was 1998, except for minimum till data which was started in 2000.

Table 12. FULL-SEASON SOYBEAN yield in bushels per acre for various soil types as affected by minimum tilling, deep ripping, liming, and lasering, southeast Missouri region, 1998-2005 [a].
  Minimum Till Deep Ripped Limed Lasered
Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No
Clay/gumbo 44.6
n = 31
41.7
n = 21
44.7
n = 19
41.8
n = 52
45.4
n = 27
40.9
n = 44
45.1
n = 41
39.2
n = 30
Sand 45.2
n = 27
44.2
n = 16
43.1
n = 30
45.2
n = 23
42.6
n = 30
45.8
n = 23
48.8
n = 21
40.9
n = 32
Silt 48.6
n = 29
48.5
n = 27
46.7
n = 25
48.9
n = 43
51.0
n = 33
45.3
n = 35
50.9
n = 44
43.0
n = 24
Other 41.8
n = 4
46.0
n = 7
43.4
n = 7
46.0
n = 6
48.4
n = 7
40.2
n = 6
47.2
n = 6
42.4
n = 7
AVERAGE 45.9
n = 91
45.3
n = 71
44.6
n = 81
45.2
n = 124
46.7
n = 97
43.3
n = 108
48.2
n = 112
41.0
n = 93
AVERAGE YIELD
CHANGE
+ 0.7 - 0.5 + 3.3 + 7.2
[a] Starting period for collecting various data was 1998, except for minimum till data which was started in 2000.

Table 13. DOUBLE CROP SOYBEAN yield in bushels per acre for various soil types as affected by minimum tilling, deep ripping, liming, and lasering, southeast Missouri region, 1998-2005 [a].
  Minimum Till Deep Ripped Limed Lasered
Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No
Clay/gumbo 32.9
n = 10
45.5
n = 8
41.3
n = 4
38.2
n = 17
39.2
n = 5
38.6
n = 16
39.5
n = 8
38.3
n = 13
Sand 37.8
n = 20
42.0
n = 9
39.5
n = 26
39.6
n = 13
40.5
n = 28
37.0
n = 11
45.0
n = 11
37.4
n = 28
Silt 42.3
n = 19
38.9
n = 8
40.2
n = 19
43.7
n = 17
43.8
n = 17
40.2
n = 19
42.3
n = 12
41.6
n = 24
Other 44.7
n = 7
31.3
n = 3
45.3
n = 4
37.7
n = 6
38.5
n = 4
42.2
n = 6
30.0
n = 2
43.4
n = 8
AVERAGE 39.3
n = 56
41.0
n = 28
40.3
n = 53
40.3
n = 53
41.3
n = 54
39.3
n = 52
41.8
n = 33
39.6
n = 73
AVERAGE YIELD
CHANGE
- 1.7 + 0.1 + 2.0 + 2.2
[a] Starting period for collecting various data was 1998, except for minimum till data which was started in 2000.

VIII. Historical Results of Bootheel Irrigation Survey Since 1987


TABLE 14. -- BOOTHEEL IRRIGATION SURVEY, 1987-2005
Yields for Irrigated and Dryland Crops
Year Irrig.
Corn
(bu)
Non-Irrig.
Corn
(bu)
Irrig.
Soybeans
(bu)
Non-Irrig.
Soybeans
(bu)
Irrig.
DC
Soybeans
(bu)
Non-Irrig.
DC
Soybeans
(bu)
Irrig.
Cotton
(lbs)
Non-Irrig.
Cotton
(lbs)
Irrig.
Milo
(bu)
Non-Irrig.
Milo
(bu)
1987 149 121 44 32 33 19 --- --- 110 101
1988 148 88 39 32 36 27 877 718 108 91
1989 152 117 37 27 29 23 807 605 92 77
1990 146 86 44 29 38 31 768 528 82 32
1991 143 84 42 29 43 30 917 678 105 69
1992 189 135 48 37 44 32 1029 990 121 108
1993 137 95 44 31 41 30 722 546 113 75
1994 162 123 47 38 43 37 933 779 101 93
1995 156 124 43 29 42 31 637 422 90 66
1996 170 124 43 32 42 25 905 719 98 63
1997 155 103 41 28 42 31 865 723 110 70
1998 140 95 37 22 40 27 692 542 82 ---
1999 163 121 49 21 43 17 787 471 --- ---
2000 171 --- 43 --- 39 --- 733 --- 140 ---
2001 183 119 46 31 36 21 966 777 84 50
2002 160 104 45 28 43 30 873 686 114 63
2003 165 131 46 33 47 38 994 816 --- ---
2004 184 150 51 33 43 37 1140 816 118 50
2005 180 141 49 36 44 28 1014 750 --- ---
Avg 161 115 44 30 40 29 859 685 104 72

IX. Yield and Yield Differences and Surge Results by Soil Type and Irrigation Method


TABLE 15A.--IRRIGATED CORN YIELD
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield (bu/ac), # of irrigations, Average Depth Applied (in), and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 165.0
(10.5@ 0.9")
n = 59
153.0
(9.7@ 0.9")
n = 7
182.0
(6.5@ 1.5")
n = 2
175.5
(5.4 @ 2.0")
n = 43
168.6
(8.4 @ 1.3")
n = 111
Silt 171.6
(6.3@ 0.9")
n = 40
148.4
(8.6@ 1.0")
n = 8
176.1
(3.9 @ 2.6")
n = 16
171.8
(4.9 @ 2.2")
n = 58
170.8
(5.5 @ 1.7")
n = 122
Clay/Gumbo 181.2
(5.4 @ 0.9")
n = 16
171.3
(3.8 @ 0.8")
n = 4
162.5
(4.3 @ 2.3")
n = 6
156.2
(5.3 @ 2.4")
n = 25
166.0
(5.1 @ 1.8")
n = 51
Other 168.0
(7.2 @ 1.2")
n = 5
196.0
( ? @ ?")
n = 1
200.0
( ? @ ?")
n = 1
156.2
(5.5@ 2.6")
n = 4
169.2
(5.6 @ 1.8")
n = 11
Average 169.5
(8.3 @ 0.9")
n = 120
157.0
(8.0 @ 0.9")
n = 20
174.3
(4.2 @ 2.4")
n = 25
169.5
(5.1 @ 2.2")
n = 130
169.1
(6.5 @ 1.6")
n = 295

Table 15b.—Comparing Use of Surge Flow on Corn Production among Flood Irrigators
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
  with SURGE without SURGE
Furrow users' Yield: 179.2 bu/ac (n = 30) 167.9 bu/ac (n = 124)
Number of irrigations: 6.7 4.6

TABLE 15C.-- YIELD INCREASE DUE TO IRRIGATION FOR CORN
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield enhancement (bu/ac) and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 53.9
n = 59
76.4
n = 7
27.0
n = 2
71.9
n = 43
61.8
n = 111
Silt 45.3
n = 40
61.4
n = 8
55.4
n = 16
48.8
n = 58
49.4
n = 122
Clay/Gumbo 34.3
n = 16
20.0
n = 4
30.8
n = 6
37.9
n = 25
34.5
n = 51
Other 62.5
n = 5
---  ---  0.0
n = 4
28.4
n = 9
Average 48.8
n = 120
58.2
n = 19
35.4
n = 24
52.8
n = 130
50.7
n = 291

TABLE 16A.--IRRIGATED COTTON YIELD
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield (lbs/ac, # of irrigations, Average Depth Applied (in), and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 860.3
(5.1@ 1.1")
n = 36
948.0
(3.8@ 1.0")
n = 6
725.5
(3.0@ 1.0")
n = 2
937.4
(4.1 @ 2.1")
n = 37
898.7
(4.5 @ 1.5")
n = 81
Silt 835.5
(4.7@ 0.8")
n = 8
784.3
(3.8@ 1.2")
n = 6
750.0
(1.5 @ 2.0")
n = 2
859.5
(2.8 @ 2.4")
n = 30
840.8
(3.2 @ 2.0")
n = 46
Clay/Gumbo 793.0
(7.0 @ 0.9")
n = 8
650.0
(2.0 @ 1.5")
n = 1
--- 937.4
(3.5 @ 2.1")
n = 6
841.2
(5.3 @ 1.4")
n = 15
Other 1040.0
(4.7 @ 0.9")
n = 4
---  ---  959.4
(2.5@ 2.1")
n = 9
984.2
(3.2 @ 1.7")
n = 13
Average 860.0
(5.3 @ 1.0")
n = 56
849.5
(3.7 @ 1.1")
n = 13
737.5
(2.3 @ 1.5")
n = 4
911.3
(3.4 @ 2.2")
n = 82
883.1
(4.1 @ 1.7")
n = 155

Table 16b.—Comparing Use of Surge Flow on Cotton Production among Flood Irrigators
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
  with SURGE without SURGE
Furrow users' Yield: 993.0 lbs/ac (n = 32) 850.0 lbs/ac (n = 54)
Number of irrigations: 3.3 3.4

TABLE 16C.-- YIELD INCREASE DUE TO IRRIGATION FOR COTTON
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield enhancement (lbs/ac) and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 147.0
n = 36
182.0
n = 6
-88.5
n = 2
199.9
n = 37
167.9
n = 81
Silt 120.0
n = 8
195.3
n = 6
187.5
n = 2
228.5
n = 30
203.5
n = 46
Clay/Gumbo 50.5
n = 8
200.0
n = 1
--- 355.3
n = 6
182.4
n = 15
Other 206.3
n = 4
--- --- 153.7
n = 9
169.9
n = 13
Average 133.6
n = 56
189.5
n = 13
49.5
n = 4
216.7
n = 82
180.1
n = 155

TABLE 17A.--IRRIGATED FULL-SEASON SOYBEAN
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield (bu/ac), # of irrigations, Average Depth Applied (in), and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 42.2
(7.1@ 0.9")
n = 26
33.0
(6.3@ 0.9")
n = 4
53.0
(4.0@ 2.0")
n = 1
47.8
(5.0 @ 2.1")
n = 22
44.0
(6.1 @ 1.4")
n = 53
Silt 45.3
(7.2@ 1.0")
n = 12
43.0
(4.7@ 0.8")
n = 6
48.7
(2.9 @ 2.6")
n = 12
49.6
(4.2 @ 2.5")
n = 38

48.1
(4.5 @ 2.1")
n = 68

Clay/Gumbo 38.5
(4.6 @ 0.9")
n = 19
44.0
(7.1 @ 0.8")
n = 9
46.0
(3.5 @ 2.3")
n = 6
43.8
(3.9 @ 3.2")
n = 37
42.6
(4.5 @ 2.2")
n = 71
Other 48.0
(8.5 @ 0.8")
n = 2
39.7
(9.7@ 0.6")
n = 3
---  43.3
(7.5@ 1.8")
n = 6
43.2
(8.3 @ 1.3")
n = 11
Average 41.8
(6.4 @ 0.9")
n = 59
41.1
(6.7 @ 0.8")
n = 22
48.0
(3.2 @ 2.5")
n = 19
46.8
(4.5 @ 2.6")
n = 103
44.8
(5.1 @ 1.9")
n = 203

Table 17b.—Comparing Use of Surge Flow on F-S Soybean Production
among Flood Irrigators
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
  with SURGE without SURGE
Furrow users' Yield: 48.4 bu/ac (n = 22) 46.7 bu/ac (n = 100)

Number of irrigations:

6.0 3.9

TABLE 17C.-- YIELD INCREASE DUE TO IRRIGATION FOR
FULL-SEASON SOYBEAN
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield enhancement (bu/ac) and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 16.3
n = 26
8.0
n = 4
28.0
n = 1
16.8
n = 22
16.1
n = 53
Silt 12.8
n = 12
14.0
n = 6
18.3
n = 12
21.1
n = 38

18.5
n = 68

Clay/Gumbo 14.5
n = 19
7.0
n = 9
18.5
n = 6
17.0
n = 37
15.2
n = 71
Other 25.5
n = 2
25.0
n = 3
---  6.0
n = 6
14.7
n = 11
Average 15.3
n = 59
11.5
n = 22
18.9
n = 19
17.8
n = 103
16.5
n = 203

TABLE 18A.--IRRIGATED DOUBLE-CROP SOYBEANS
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield (bu/ac), # of irrigations, Average Depth Applied (in), and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 37.6
(9.5@ 0.8")
n = 24
35.1
(4.1@ 0.9")
n = 7
---  48.0
(5.4 @ 2.1")
n = 8
39.3
(7.7 @ 1.1")
n = 39
Silt 40.8
(7.0@ 0.8")
n = 10
37.9
(6.0@ 0.9")
n = 6
44.0
(2.6 @ 2.7")
n = 5
42.8
(3.4 @ 2.7")
n = 14

41.6
(4.7 @ 1.8")
n = 35

Clay/Gumbo 35.7
(5.6 @ 1.1")
n = 11
45.7
(5.0 @ 0.8")
n = 3
45.0
(2.5 @ 3.5")
n = 2
38.5
(3.8 @ 2.0")
n = 4
38.7
(4.8 @ 1.4")
n = 20
Other 39.6
(6.5 @ 1.1")
n = 8
---  ---  45.0
(4.0@ ? ")
n = 2
40.7
(6.0 @ 0.9")
n = 10
Average 38.1
(7.8 @ 0.9")
n = 53
38.1
(5.0 @ 0.9")
n = 16
44.4
(2.6 @ 2.9")
n = 7
43.9
(4.0 @ 2.4")
n = 28
40.1
(6.0 @ 1.4")
n = 104

Table 18b.—Comparing Use of Surge Flow on D-C Soybean Production
among Flood Irrigators
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey

  with SURGE without SURGE
Furrow users' Yield: 40.8 bu/ac (n = 9) 45.0 bu/ac (n = 26)

Number of irrigations:

6.4 2.8

TABLE 18B.-- YIELD INCREASE DUE TO IRRIGATION FOR
DOUBLE-CROP SOYBEANS
1997-2005 Bootheel Irrigation Survey
Showing yield enhancement (bu/ac) and sample size
Soil Type Fixed Pivot Tow-able Pivot Rigid Pipe Poly-pipe Average
Sand 16.1
n = 24
14.3
n = 7
---  14.5
n = 8
15.5
n = 39
Silt 13.0
n = 10
25.6
n = 6
15.0
n = 5
18.7
n = 14

17.7
n = 35

Clay/Gumbo 11.1
n = 11
15.7
n = 3
---  3.5
n = 4
9.2
n = 20
Other 16.7
n = 8
---  ---  12.5
n = 2
15.8
n = 10
Average 14.6
n = 53
18.8
n = 16
15.0
n = 5
14.9
n = 28
15.1
n = 104

X. Acknowledgements

I would like to personally thank all the farmers who have taken time out of their busy schedules in the last nine years to fill out the Bootheel Irrigation Surveys. Without your generosity we would not be able to share these insights on irrigating in the southeast Missouri region.

I would also like to thank John Travlos, Greg Rotert and other staff members of MU's AgEBB department (website of MU Extension), where these results have been posted on line over the years. The information enclosed in this report, as well as the north Missouri irrigation survey results, can be found at:

/irrigate/survey/index.php

Back to Missouri Irrigation Surveys | Back to Missouri Irrigation