​​​Increasing the Water Use Efficiency of Irrigated and Dryland Cotton with Cover Crops

August 2018 | 15 min., 30 sec.
by Tyson B. Raper
The University of Tennessee

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​Cover crops have remained a popular topic over the past few years, mainly due to the potential of the practice to suppress weeds. Still, one of the greatest benefits of cover crops in a humid environment is arguably the increase in infiltration and water holding capacity, both of which increase the rainfall/irrigation use efficiency of our crop. This presentation defines water use efficiency, explains seasonal trends in water use relative to rainfall, and highlights several research trials and on-farm observations which capture increased levels of infiltration and water holding capacity due to the incorporation of cover crops into the production system. By the end of this presentation, the practitioner will have a basic understanding of the water demands of a cotton crop and the potential impacts cover crops can have on the water resources available to the following cash crop.

About the Presenter

Tyson B. RaperTyson B. Raper is the Cotton and Small Grains Specialist for the University of Tennessee. Dr. Raper attended Auburn University for his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business and Economics with a Minor in Agronomy and Soils. He later completed his master’s degree with Dr. Jac J. Varco at Mississippi State University studying the potential to remotely detect nitrogen deficiencies in cotton. Dr. Raper completed his doctor of philosophy with Dr. Derrick M. Oosterhuis at the University of Arkansas examining the impact of potassium deficiencies on remotely detecting nitrogen deficiencies in cotton and development of a drought stress index from temporally dense, spatially sparse soil moisture measurements. Currently, Dr. Raper’s research program focuses on increasing fertilizer use efficiencies through alternate placements, the remote detection and amelioration of nutrient stresses, and use of soil moisture to quantify experienced drought stress in variety trials.

Contact Information:
Email: traper@utk.edu


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