Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours




CropTalk: Managing Irrigation with VRI and Moisture Probes

July 2019

There's often talk about variable rate (VR) fertilizer applications or VR planting, but have you ever heard about variable rate irrigation (VRI)? In the same manner that a prescription can be created to apply different rates of fertilizer or seed to defined areas of a field, farmers with pivot irrigation can also vary the rate of water within a field. Much like creating a VR planting prescription, a VRI prescription requires a strong data set that would include elevation, soil texture, and water holding capacity.

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PFR Report: Why Water Management?

What Three Years on a Clay Pan Soil Has Taught Us

Author: Joe Bolte

What has three years of implementing water management practices at our Practical Farm Research (PFR)® facility in southern Illinois (SIL) taught us? That in environments that struggle with drainage, tile has payed dividends. Despite the common belief that tile does not work on clay pan soils, our data has proved otherwise.

So, the question is, why did tile work? To gain a better understanding, we must first dig deeper into the soil moisture and temperature data we have gathered over the past three years with CropX LLC moisture sensors.

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PFR Report

Soil Moisture - Where Does It Go?

Author: Joe Bolte

Over the last two years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team in SIL has tested various water management systems. These studies included drip-fertigation and sub-irrigation studies as well as a tile spacing and tile depth studies. These different water management systems have resulted in some of the highest yields ever recorded at the SIL PFR site to date. In the February 2018 PFR report, we discussed the yield advantages we have seen from tile drainage and irrigation, and many of you asked why we saw such a yield increase.

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