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

The Impact Of Drought On Vegetable Production

drought_plantWater is a precious commodity. Just ask California growers trying to navigate through a drought that is said to be one of the worst since the 1500s.

In March, the California Farm Water Coalition upgraded its estimate of acres growers will leave idle this year to 800,000, up from 500,000, because of a lack of water. According to USDA’s Drought Monitor, the drought in 95% of the state is being called “Severe” to “Exceptional.”

What can California and growers in the West do? Unfortunately, options are limited. Conservation is an obvious solution — and most growers in the West are already well down that road. During the last couple of decades, many have turned their attention to drip irrigation, which is considered to be the most efficient way to water crops. Continue reading

How to Adopt Subsurface Drip Irrigation & Optimize Mint Production

Toro has announced two easy-to-use “how-to” guides on subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) and mint production. The SDI guide helps producers adopt systems for field crops such as corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane, alfalfa and mint. The mint guide profiles Idaho mint producer and President of the Mint Association, Bob McKellip, and reveals the success he achieved by using SDI through two harvests*. Both brochures are available in English and Spanish in our drip irrigation literature archive.

Click here to download the SDI guide (for Spanish, click here).

Click here to download the Mint guide (for Spanish, click here). Continue reading

How To: Drip Irrigation Basics & Case Studies

Click the links below to explore our archive of drip irrigation “how to” literature, drip irrigation basics, and case studies by crop. These real-world applications show why drip is the most efficient irrigation method that not only saves water, but also improves yield and crop quality. Continue reading

Drip Irrigation on Peppermint – 2013 Crop Update

Drip Irrigation on MintAnother season has passed, and Bob McKellip is happy to report that his second year of utilizing drip irrigation on mint was even better than the first. “This Spring, I started up the drip system and everything worked perfectly,” explains McKellip. “I have found that the system is very simple and easy to operate once it’s set-up, and that its just like any other piece of modern farm equipment. With drip, I easily spoon fed my crop with the water and fertilizer it needed on a weekly basis, and harvested unheard of yields on second-year mint – 188 pounds of mint oil per acre!”

McKellip noted that this was achieved in spite of record heat, minimal rainfall, and variable soils with differing water holding capacities. “With drip, I was able to fine tune the irrigation schedule to accommodate different soil types and get more water where it was needed.”

As a result, not only were yields boosted, but water and fertilizer use was down as well. Continue reading

5-Step Plan to Feed the World

By 2050 we’ll need to feed two billion more people. How can we do that without overwhelming the planet?

In honor of Earth Day, the following article by National Geographic takes a look at the issues we will face as the world’s population increases. This 5-step plan offers some solutions, including precision farming and more efficient irrigation systems, like subsurface drip irrigation.

Click here to read “A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World.” Continue reading

Learn More About Water, Science & Technology at the 2014 Water Technology Conference

The 2014 Water Technology Conference will be held on Thursday, May 8 at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Clovis, California. This event, presented by the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT), features an impressive line-up of technical speakers, exhibitors, poster sessions and networking opportunities.

To register or for more information, go to www.californiawater.org, www.icwt.net, or call 559.278.2066. Continue reading