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Water table management to enhance crop yields in a wetland reservoir subirrigation system
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A Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation System (WRSIS) allows for capture, treatment, storage, and reuse of runoff and subsurface drainage waters from cropland, in turn providing both environmental and agricultural production benefits. The three WRSIS sites presently in operation are all located within the northwest Ohio portion of the Maumee River Basin and have been in use for five to six complete growing seasons. WRSIS components include an underground drainage pipe network tied to both a constructed wetland and a water storage reservoir. With this type of system, the drain pipes can be used at different times to either add water (subirrigation) or remove water (subsurface drainage) from the root zone, thereby enhancing crop yields, especially in dry years. Obtaining these crop yield benefits requires a proper water table management approach that includes practicing suggested operational guidelines and initiating as needed system modification improvements. By incorporating a proper water table management approach, and in comparison to control plots, WRSIS subirrigated field crop yield increases for corn and soybeans, respectively, were 34.5 and 38.1% during drier growing seasons, 14.4 and 9.7% during near average to wetter growing seasons, and 19.6 and 17.4% overall.
La Barge, G.A.
Applied engineering in agriculture 2003 July, v. 19, no. 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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