Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henry, W. Brien

Committee Member

Reynolds, Daniel B.

Committee Member

Varco, Jac J.

Committee Member

Krutz, L. Jason

Committee Member

Falconer, Lawrence L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Plant and Soil Sciences (Agronomy)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


The Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA) aquifer is the principal water source for Mid-South irrigators, but the current rate of withdrawal from the aquifer is not sustainable. Means to increase the sustainability of the MRVAA is to improve corn’s water use efficiency (WUE) while, concurrently, maintaining or improving profitability. The objectives of this experiment were to determine the effects of sensor-based irrigation threshold, planting date, and hybrid on corn grain yield, WUE, and net returns above seed and irrigation cost. Season long irrigation thresholds of -50 kPa full irrigation (FI) and -125 kPa limited irrigation (LI) were used, utilizing furrow irrigation. In conclusion, utilizing a delayed irrigation trigger of -125 kPa decreases grain yield and, ultimately, net returns in years with less naturally occurring rainfall, but increases WUE. Shifting the planting date earlier and using full-season (FS) hybrids, increases grain yield, WUE, and net returns.