Agricultural Water Management
Climate Change and variability pose a major challenge to crop production systems in the Southeastern United States. The increase in frequency of large precipitation events and dry periods during the crop growing season lead to significant yield losses, which have economic, social, and environmental consequences. Effective management of agricultural water at the farm level is essential for increasing the productivity and resiliency of rain-fed agriculture in the U.S. Southeast. The National Need Fellow will conduct research that contributes to the transformation of agricultural water management to adapt crop production systems in Southeastern United States to climate change and variability in order to enhance crop yield, reduce production costs, conserve water resources, and protect water quality. The research will focus on 1) investigating the complex and interacting processes influencing the soil-water-plant system in the vadose zone; 2) developing and testing “smart”, “sensor-based”, data-driven drainage and irrigation systems; 3) utilizing the recent advances in real-time monitoring of soil water conditions and plant response to inform water management systems. The intended research is multidisciplinary and requires both field/laboratory experiments and computer simulation modeling.
Investigators: Youssef, Heiniger, Kudenov, Wilkerson, White