New Waves September 2010

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

TWRI grant recipient studies deficit irrigation and cotton production in southwest Texas

Yujin Wen, a doctoral student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University, worked with his advising professor Dr. J. Tom Cothren to evaluate the irrigation method of regulated deficit irrigation application and its impacts on agronomic yield.

Wen received a 2009-10 Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research grant. With the $5,000 grant, he conducted experiments on cotton crops in southwest Texas. Final results of the study indicated that regulated deficit irrigation demonstrated higher potential to save water, establish deeper cotton plant root systems, produce more lint yield per unit water input, and maintain fiber quality.

Wen said the research will allow farmers to confidently apply new irrigation schemes into their farming operations to save water. “Based on the deficit irrigation research results, the local authority can make a better water budget plan to solve the conflict between municipal and agricultural water consumption,” he said.

Through the TWRI grant program, Wen said he gained confidence in managing research projects and budgeting costs. “Being assigned the principle investigator of my own study provided a platform for me to improve my leadership and team work etiquette in project management,” he said.

After Wen completes his doctorate, he said he plans to help people involved in agriculture save water and manage water resource allocation.

This project was funded by TWRI through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as part of the National Institutes for Water Research annual research program. TWRI is the designated institute for water resources research in Texas.

For more information on Wen’s research, and to read his final report, visit the TWRI USGS Research Grants webpage at

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