Wednesday, 8 October 2008: 1:45 PM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 361C
Two-thirds of the approximately 3 million ha of cropland on the Southern High Plains of Texas is under rain-fed (dryland) production. As underground water resources decline, this number is expected to rise due to the loss of available water for irrigation. Therefore, it is important to explore means of improving productivity and profitability of dryland cropping systems in this region. It has been hypothesized that planting dryland crops in a circular pattern could reduce rainfall runoff, increase ponding and capture, and ultimately supply more available soil water to dryland crops. Two locations under cotton and grain sorghum production are being studied near Lamesa, Texas to compare the costs and benefits of circular planting compared to conventional straight row configurations. Initial results from the 2007 growing season showed no significant yield differences between the circular and conventionally planted fields.