New Bill would support California Emergency Drought Relief

On July 30th, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer introduced the California Emergency Drought Relief Act, a bill with both short and long-term provisions designed to help communities cope with the ongoing drought and combat future droughts.

The bill is the product of months of meetings between Senator Feinstein and her staff, federal, state and local officials, environmental groups, water districts and other stakeholders. Continue reading

Toro attends Governor’s ‘Business Leader Summit on the Drought’

This post will be the first in a series of 4 blog posts which will focus on recent events related to Toro’s efforts at the state and national level to improve water and resource use efficiency.

On Thursday, April 16, Governor Brown convened a second summit with representatives from major state water users in Sacramento including the building, hospitality, golf, retail, cemetery and pool and spa industries. Representatives from The Toro Company were among those in attendance. Continue reading

Subsurface Drip Irrigation saves water, delivers inputs

The practice of applying chemicals through buried drip irrigation lines has been used for decades in fruit and vegetable crops and orchards. Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is pumping water into perforated poly pipes buried deep enough in the soil so that they’re not bothered by seeding and tillage equipment.

Inge Bisconer, a technical manager in Toro’s Micro-Irrigation division, said Toro has been an early developer of SDI.

However, drip irrigation is no longer exclusive to small-acreage, high-value horticulture crops. Continue reading

One Arizona Farmer Conserving Water with Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Farmers in central Arizona are working together to protect a precious resource that flows through their land. The Verde River supplies every drop of water they use for irrigation, and everything else in their lives. As the drought swallows up lakes and rivers across the West, Verde Valley farmers are embracing new and old technology to ensure their water supply doesn’t dry up. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports.

The Hausers are a farming family. They’ve been harvesting and selling pumpkins, alfalfa, and sweet corn for generations. The youngest member in this long line of farmers is 26-year-old Zach.

“My great, great, great grandparents started in Iowa, eventually moved to Phoenix,” says Hauser. “My dad and grandfather farmed this, and then I just kind of followed in their footsteps.” Continue reading

Some Central Valley Farmers looking to Recycled Wastewater

Many California farmers are in a tight spot this summer, because their normal water supplies have dried up with the state’s extreme drought. In the state’s Central Valley, that’s driving some farmers to get creative: They’re looking at buying water from cities — not freshwater, but water that’s already gone down the drain.

The parched conditions in the valley, the state’s farming hub, have been crazy. Actually, “crazy wouldn’t adequately describe what we’re going through here,” says Anthea Hansen, who runs the Del Puerto Water District in the Central Valley. “Having zero water available — we’ve been in survival and crisis mode for literally 24 months now,” she says.

What her district needs, she says, is a reliable supply — something that’s there, drought or no drought. Continue reading

VIDEO: Farming During Drought

In the following video, watch MSNBC’s Chris Hayes as he talks to Joe Del Bosque, a grower in California’s Central Valley, about farming during a drought. Continue reading

Drip Irrigation Best Practices: Optimize Your Irrigation in 5 Easy Steps

July is Smart Irrigation Month, and to help promote drip irrigation best practices in ag and farming, we put together this small list of ways you can optimize your irrigation system.

Don’t make the mistake of wasting irrigation water. Do your homework and learn about crop water requirement, the maximum precipitation rates of soils, soil water holding capacities, irrigation system application rates and irrigation system uniformities. Continue reading

Agriculture Irrigation Technology Transforming Farming

Madera County farmer Tom Rogers thought he knew a lot about how to irrigate his family’s 175-acre almond ranch. But several droughts, including the current four-year dry spell, made him reconsider his approach on how to get the most out of his ever-shrinking water supply.

For the last two years, Rogers has received no surface water, relying purely on groundwater wells to keep the ranch’s trees alive and producing.

Nothing is taken for granted on the Rogers’ farm, and nothing is wasted, especially water. Continue reading