For deficit or limited irrigation situations, your Virtual Agronomist acres also qualify for the optional Drought Readiness Program or DRP (patent pending). DRP uses specialized GIS software to numerically rank your top performing irrigation sectors within a given field. By predetermining the average yield potential within each of the 60 individual sectors, DRP can help you better plan your crop selections, variable rate seeding prescriptions, pre-plant watering schedules and real-time water allocations.
In the event of low or no supplemental precipitation, DRP can also help prepare you to redirect your irrigation management strategy in-season to your highest yielding sectors based on the available GPM per acre of irrigation in combination with present soil moisture levels.
Corn requires 5.8 GPM per acre of water for full production.
Within a sample field, a 350 GPM well applied to 120 acres = 2.9 GPM per acre of water available through supplemental irrigation.
In a drought situation with little or no precipitation, 2.9 GPM per acre divided by the required 5.8 GPM per acre = 50%. In this situation, there would be only enough irrigation to effectively water 50% of the acres within the sample field in the event there is no additional moisture gained from in-season precipitation.
This means with no precipitation the irrigated acres within the sample field would have to be reduced by 50% to insure the planted corn has 5.8 GPM per acre of water available.
To assure the best results and highest yields within the sample field, the top 50% of acres by irrigation sector (management areas defined by center pivot rotation) should be selected and variably irrigated. This can be more precisely achieved using GIS data and specialized software along with positioned-based center pivot control through the new Drought Readiness Program from CropMetrics.
To prepare this sample field for the possibility of drought in the upcoming growing season, the historically highest yielding areas of the field by irrigation sector could be precisely assigned the highest valued crops or increased seed populations via variable rate seeding, pre-planting water by planting strategy via variable rate irrigation, and in-season irrigation managed by sectors against well size and in-season precipitation.
By applying the latest in precision ag technology through the new Drought Readiness Program from CropMetrics, growers can now effectively increase water use efficiency and maximize overall yield potential all while mitigating risk from low or no in-season precipitation.