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Meet the Speakers
Dr. ChrisHenry Associate Professor and Water Management Engineer University of Arkansas 870-673-2661 785-741-0393 cghenry@uark.edu
ChadRender Arkansas Farmer 870-489-2471 cdrender1@yahoo.com
Session Number: IR2-2
About this Session

Irrigation And Fertigating Technology For Row Rice, Going For Climate Smart 300 BPA

Presented by:  Dr. Chris Henry, Associate Professor & Water Management Engineer, University of Arkansas

A novel system has been developed to improve the furrow irrigated rice production system. A yield gap of 16 BPA currently exists between FIR and flooded rice production systems. A pit-less pump system is being used to fertigate UAN and liquified urea in an effort to close the yield gap, reduce greenhouse gas emission, reduce water use, and reduce fertilizer use. Cover crops successfully improved the yield of FIR when strict notill was used. Significantly higher yields were achieved in 2022 compared to every 3-day irrigations (1024 BPA penalty), suggesting that water availability and delivery to FIR may be the main component of the yield penalty. The highest yield (192 BPA) was a result of cover crops, notill and daily fertigation using the pitless pump system. Daily fertigation of nitrogen delivered by the pitless system shows promise in reducing greenhouse emissions and providing a mechanism to minimize nitrogen cost and easily addressing nutrient deficiencies midseason.

Sensors Help Achieve Most Crop Per Drop

Presented by:  Chad Render, Arkansas Farmer

After several years of using his own observation as a means of determining a plant’s stress, Render began using moisture sensors, and he learned he had been overwatering. Following the sensor’s direction, he has found the extra water he was adding didn’t provide a better yield. Now with the sensors, he’s using less water and maintaining the same yields. Render was raised on the family farm in Craighead County. He received his bachelor’s degree in business from Arkansas State University and moved to Jefferson County in 1999 to begin farming on his own. He operates a 6,300-acre farm, raising rice, corn, soybean, wheat and black oats. “I’m happy to be an Arkansas farmer,” he says. Render is the first and only farmer in Arkansas to win 1st place in every crop division (corn, soybeans, and rice) of the Arkansas Most Crop per Drop Irrigation Contest.