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

Dramatic Benefits of Drip Irrigation System for Idaho Grower

For one Idaho Grower, the ultimate in water use efficiency on his farm boils down to two words: drip irrigation.

McKellip, who lives and works in the Treasure Valley north of Nampa, Idaho, installed his first drip irrigation — a Toro system — on one of RMF Farms’ fields in 2011. He installed a second system the following year; then, in 2013, a third. That 2013 field was seeded into sugarbeets. Prior to those drip systems, all his fields were grown under furrow irrigation.

A drip-irrigated field of mint in 2012 yielded 133 pounds of mint per acre, compared to a nearby furrow-irrigated mint field that came off at 94 pounds. The bottom line was $585 more income per acre, along with significant savings in water and fertilizer use, combined with less labor, fuel, equipment usage and insecticide inputs. Continue reading

AquaFlow 4 Upgrade

We are excited to announce the latest upgrade to our drip irrigation design software, AquaFlow 4 – available now at toro.com and driptips.toro.com. AquaFlow 4 may be used online or downloaded onto a computer for use when the internet is not available. Continue reading

Farmer Solves Water Woes with Subsurface Drip Irrigation

When Jim Bahrenburg looks across the land he’s worked in the Monument and Kimberly areas, he sees buried treasure.

That treasure isn’t gold, but water.

Drawn from the North Fork John Day River, this water flows through small underground tubes to gradually irrigate blocks of land for crops. Starting on the North Fork Ranch in the Kimberly area, Bahrenburg said he first planted rye to choke out the thistles on what was just a neglected pasture, and then continued the transformation by planting row crops.

Today the land produces corn, onions, beets, peppers, squash and dill. Continue reading

An estimated $10 Million in Grants Available for California Agriculture

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation (Assembly Bill 91).

An estimated $10 million will be available for competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on California agricultural operations.

The funding is made available through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the proceeds of California’s greenhouse gas Cap and Trade program. Continue reading

Staples 2015 Irrigation Efficiency Program

The Staples Irrigation Efficiency program will provide incentives to any irrigation design which can demonstrate energy/water savings. The program will offer almost unlimited possibilities for submitting savings for rebates instead of only two “deemed” projects with set values for incentives. Continue reading

WATER EFFICIENCY EQUATION: Reducing Use Per Unit Gaining Traction

With California now firmly entrenched in its fourth drought year in a row, the irrigation industry is rightly focused on water efficiency.

Paul McFadden, who is senior sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation, El Cajon, CA, said while the focus is clear, that doesn’t always mean using less water. “It’s an equation: units of input vs. units of output.” Continue reading

The Toro Company’s Commitment to Water Use Efficiency in Agriculture

While the drought in the Western U.S. has made water and resource use efficiency top-of-mind, Toro is proud of the various ways we practice and advocate for responsible crop irrigation. Here are some of the ways we’ve worked to improve water and resource-use efficiency in agriculture. Continue reading