How Center-Pivot Irrigation Can Provide High Production Soybeans and Also Aid in Water Soil Management

With more and more farmers across the country growing soybeans due to their economic value, it is important to test new irrigation technology options to discover their ability to increase yield. Recently, studies were conducted on utilizing AquiMax copolymers in soybean crop soil applied with center-pivot irrigation systems. The results were outstanding and proved that soil moisture management can be made simpler – all with more time between irrigation cycles.

What AquiMax® Can Do for Crops

One of the biggest challenges any farmer can face – not just soybean farmers – is the ability to keep his or her crops watered with precision. Many crops, including soybeans, require near-constant soil moisture management in order to boost production and yield. AquiMax® is a copolymer system designed to work with virtually any irrigation method. Once inside the soil, the polymers spread evenly and retain water. This means that soybeans have access to the water they need as they need it, which prevents overwatering and drought stress alike. Farmers can worry less about irrigation (and in some cases, even increase the time between irrigation cycles) and instead focus more on improving their overall yield.

Center-Pivot Irrigation

A center-pivot irrigation system, also called central-pivot irrigation, waterwheel irrigation, or circle irrigation, is a method that requires the use of equipment installed above the crop. This equipment uses a rotary arm fitted with sprinklers; the arm moves around the crop in a circle and provides water to the crops and soil below. These systems have proven incredibly beneficial, though they can be quite costly – particularly when it comes to power and water sources. Farmers using this form of irrigation can utilize AquiMax irrigation technology to help increase the time between irrigation cycles and make soil management simpler.

The Soybean Production Study

A 2012 study conducted by Midwest Research in Nebraska looked at the benefit of utilizing AquiMax copolymer soil amendments alongside a center-pivot irrigation system over a soybean field. The researchers also utilized an untreated control crop to help measure these benefits. At the end of the study, the difference in soybean production was quite noticeable.

Each group of plants – both treated and untreated – were divided in half. Some of these plants received irrigation equal to 100% of the water lost during evapotranspiration, and others received irrigation equal to 70% of the water lost during ET. The difference in yield between the treated and untreated plants equaled roughly 12% when they received 100% of the water lost during transpiration. Untreated acres produced an average of 52.9 bushels, but treated acres produced about 59.1 bushels. There was no increase in yield when the plants only received 70% of the water.

This study shows two important things. First, the amount of water a soybean plant receives is crucial to its yield. Second, when plants receive adequate water, AquiMax® copolymer systems in conjunction with center-pivot irrigation can significantly boost yield. This is because AquiMax® boosts the distribution of the water through the soil and assists in equalizing plant production from one acre to the next. With more marketable beans the yield is higher.