Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Gary Feng; Ying Ouyang; Ardeshir Adeli; John Read; Johnie Jenkins
    Date: 2018
    Source: Soil Science Society of America Journal
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (7.0 MB)


    Irrigation research in the mid-south United States has not kept pace with a steady increase in irrigated area in recent years. This study used rainfall records from 1895 to 2016 to determine rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], corn (Zea mays L.), and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in the Blackland Prairie region of Mississippi with a soil water balance model developed in Structural Thinking and Experiential Learning Laboratory with Animation (STELLA) software. The longterm analysis showed annual rainfall exceeded 1125 mm in 3 out of 4 yr. Median growing season rainfall for soybean, corn, and cotton ranged from 226 to 412, 283 to 505, and 220 to 472 mm and was 30, 39, and 33% of annual rainfall in either normal or dry years, respectively. Total effective rainwater deficit (rainfall minus runoff, percolation, and evapotranspiration) during soybean, corn, and cotton growing seasons was 200, 217, and 184 mm, respectively. During the driest 25% years, the maximum effective rainwater deficit was 340, 324, and 327 mm for soybean, corn, and cotton, respectively. Across the 122-yr period, soybean, corn, and cotton did not appear to need irrigation for only 12, 17, and 14 yr; their average irrigation demand was 180, 167, and 175 mm yr–1, respectively. Soybean required irrigation from 29 June to 7 September, particularly in reproductive
    Growth Stage 3 (0.5-cm-long pods in the upper four nodes) to Stage 7 (pods mature in color anywhere), when the crop appeared to require at least five irrigations.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Feng, Gary; Ouyang, Ying; Adeli, Ardeshir; Read, John; Jenkins, Johnie. 2018. Rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for row crops in Mississippi Blackland Prairie. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 82(2): 423-435. 13 p.


    Google Scholar


    Abbreviations: AWC, available water content or storage, DOY, day of the year, ET0, reference evapotranspiration, ETc, crop evapotranspiration, STELLA, Structural Thinking and Experiential Learning Laboratory with Animation, SWS, soil water storage.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page