Theses and Dissertations



Gholson, Drew M.

Committee Member

Lo, Tsz Him

Committee Member

Spencer, G. Dave

Committee Member

Krutz, L. Jason

Committee Member

Singh, Gurbir

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 1 year

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Plant and Soil Sciences (Agronomy)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Integrating water-saving technologies with optimized nutrient management strategies provides opportunities for sustainable agriculture in the Mississippi Delta. Three studies were conducted to determine the effects of irrigation systems, row patterns, and nutrient management strategies on corn and soybeans. The first study determined the effects of irrigation, row pattern, and nitrogen (N) placement methods on corn (Zea mays L.) productivity and N use efficiency. The effects of N placement methods were only evident in 2021 when the rainfall events were more pronounced than in 2020. Regardless of the row pattern, placing N with one knife increased corn grain yield and the agronomic N use efficiency by 14.1% and 16.8%, respectively, when compared to the surface dribble method. The second study investigated the effects of irrigation systems and row patterns on grain yield, grain quality parameters, and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) on soybeans (Glycine max L.) grown on Sharkey clay. When irrigation was triggered at -80 kPa, furrow-irrigated soybeans produced 3.9% more grain yield compared to sprinkler-irrigated soybeans. The total amount of water applied by the sprinkler irrigation system represented 19-52% of the total amount applied by the furrow system. Narrow-row patterns achieved greater IWUE than single-row patterns. In the third study, we evaluated the effects of N and irrigation levels on grain quantity, quality, and plant growth on corn grown across different soil electrical conductivity (EC) levels and its implications for variable rate technology. Corn grain yields increased with the increase of N and irrigation levels but decreased as soil EC decreased. Overall, maintaining a sprinkler irrigation threshold between -40 and -70 kPa optimized corn yield. In addition, these results did not provide enough evidence to use variable rate irrigation or variable rate N application in the Mississippi Delta.