Is Subsurface Drip Irrigation the Future for Midwest Agriculture?

Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) on CornThe use of flood and center pivot irrigation of crops via the waters of the Ogallala Aquifer is as hot a discussion topic as the current drought.

To many who mine the aquifer to make a living, trying to keep a profitable way of life sustainable in a time when the broader public is seeking more conservation of resources yet wanting inexpensive, plentiful and safe food is problematic.

Is subsurface drip irrigation the answer? Continue reading

New Toro White Spiders for Greenhouse Irrigation

DSC_0025At Toro, we recently added white spider distribution hose to our product line. “White spiders” are multi-outlet devices for use with on-line emitters, such as our pressure-compensating or anit-leak NGE emitters. Along with popular black spiders, white spiders are ideal for greenhouses and nurseries where pot watering and/or hanging basket irrigation systems are used.

White spider tubing is made of flexible PEVA material that allows easier placement of the outlet stakes. Plus, the white tubing potentially reflects sunlight and can lower irrigation water temperature to benefit plant growth, making white spiders preferable to some greenhouses and nurseries.

Both Toro’s black spider and white spider products are available in the same configurations (1, 2, or 4 outlets), and come with standard tubing cut lengths of 18”, 24”, and 32”. To learn more, visit toro.com Continue reading

Alfalfa Growers Save Water and More with Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation on AlfalfaAlfalfa growers may be encouraged to take a fresh look at subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) based on promising work underway at the Burford Ranch in Five Points, Calif.

Francisco Parra, an agronomist and pest control advisor at Burford Ranch, presented preliminary information at an alfalfa pest and crop management meeting held in Dos Palos, Calif. in June on switching the ranch’s Roundup Ready alfalfa acreage to SDI on 60-inch beds to maximize water efficiency. Continue reading

Now Introducing, AquaFlow 4.0 – Drip Irrigation Design Program

AquaFlow4.0We are excited to announce the latest upgrade to our popular AquaFlow drip irrigation design software, AquaFlow 4.0!

To improve user access and convenience, AquaFlow 4.0 can now be used online. The new program format includes expandable panels that automatically adjust to multiple screen and font sizes, and allow instant visibility of design decision results by scrolling. Plus, we added many features that make the program more informative and powerful than ever before. Continue reading

Toro Centennial Celebrated on Wall Street

In honor of our 100th anniversary, Toro representatives and channel partners were invited to ring The NYSE Closing Bell yesterday, May 28, 2014!

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A Case for Irrigated Agriculture in Alabama and Georgia

The Irrigation Association recently hosted a webinar titled, “Mitigating Effects of Drought — Visions for Sustainable Irrigation” as part of its “Smart Irrigation Month: Bringing Water to Life” webinar series. IA government affairs director John Farner hosted the event and provided a brief overview of drought stricken areas of the United States, and explained how efficient irrigation can help.

Then featured speaker, Dr. Puneet Srivastava of Auburn University, made a compelling case for irrigation of non-irrigated crops in Alabama and Georgia. The southeast boasts prime, rainfed cropland, but farmed acres have steadily declined for decades due to poor yields in comparison with irrigated cropland in other states. This economic downturn could be reversed by irrigating from on-farm reservoirs filled by winter rains, and boosting yields considerably. Continue reading

10 Tips To Help Maximize Water Use Efficiency

Daniele Zaccaria, assistant cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California-Davis, offers some tips to help you get the most from your irrigation water:

1. Consult with farm advisers in your area. They are usually a good source of information for irrigation management practices.

2. Plan for crop planting timing strategically, as early or late planting may help growers avoid the highest water-demanding periods, or reduce the length of the crop cycle, thus requiring less water to achieve profitable yields. Continue reading

Enhancing Water Efficiency with Drip Irrigation Systems

As the 2014 Oahe Farm and Ranch Show nears, Milt Morris and Tom Tveit laid out a new irrigation system they hope will improve local farming on Thursday. That’s when the two men watched as a crew of workers installed the tape for a drip irrigation system in a three acre plot next to the Oahe Speedway.

Using a tractor owned by Tveit, a local farm manager and crop consultant who has worked closely with Morris over the years, workers laid strips of drip tape, which is made of polyethylene, 30 inches apart from each other. The tape will be permanently buried 16 inches deep, allowing it to be at or below the roots of the corn Morris said will be planted on the plot. Continue reading