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Tag Archives: Alfalfa
Throughout the past few years, drip and subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) have emerged as new opportunities for alfalfa growers looking to conserve water and other resources.
The idea of greater water use efficiency (WUE) and resource use efficiency (RUE) is enticing growers who are on the fence about converting fields, while the expectation of achieving greater yields, a proven benefit of a drip and subsurface drip irrigation system, is pushing them over.
A good engineer will ask the proper questions to ensure the best system is recommended and installed for each unique operation, but it’s equally important growers ask questions about the system as it relates to the current field and future operation plans. Continue reading
Alfalfa’s been getting a bad rap lately, thanks in part to the drought currently affecting much of the western United States. This Thursday, January 14th, at 6p.m. PST on The Water Zone Radio Show, join special guest-hosts Inge Bisconer and Paul McFadden as they discuss water use efficiency in alfalfa. Continue reading
Alfalfa 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
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
Lonnie Bohn and Don Blaschko installed a Toro SDI system on a 53-acre field four years ago and have seen higher yields due to increased water efficiency. “We started to look at the drip system because of the lower pressure and absolute efficiency. None of the water runs off,” Bohn says. “It’s all underground, so there is no evaporation.” Continue reading
One of our drip irrigation experts recently wrote an article for Progressive Forage Grower magazine about subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) for alfalfa and other field crops. The article introduces the origins and benefits of SDI, compares SDI to other irrigation technologies (such as gravity, sprinkler, and pivot irrigation), and presents recent SDI case studies.
For the full article, click here to Continue reading
Subsurface Drip Irrigation is a specialized sub-set of drip irrigation where dripline or drip tape “lateral lines” (tubes buried beneath the crop rows) and supply and flushing “submains” (pipes supplying water to the lateral lines) are buried beneath the soil surface for multi-year use. The technique of burying less expensive Bi-Wall drip tape laterals beneath field crops was pioneered in the American Southwest decades ago, and has since been implemented by researchers and growers alike. The SDI technique is now being used throughout the world on a wide range of grain forage and fiber crops including alfalfa, corn, cotton, soybeans and sugarcane. In addition to drip tape, thinwall integral driplines are commonly used as well. Continue reading
Toro will be exhibiting at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Nebraska, offering a variety of ways for growers to learn about subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) and how it can help them maintain or increase yields using less water, even during a drought.
At the booth (#436), Toro will be hosting a number of growers and dealers to share their experiences with SDI to grow soybeans and corn in Nebraska. Interested growers can learn the benefits of SDI first-hand and get a free demonstration on designing an SDI system using Toro’s AquaFlow drip irrigation design software. Additionally, Toro will debut a new ‘how-to’ guide for SDI, based on case studies and years of research growing a variety of crops. Growers attending will also see the actual results of an SDI system at a field demonstration hosted by the show. The first in the show’s history, the demonstration plot irrigates a 30-acre cornfield with SDI buried 14 inches deep on 60 inch centers. Continue reading
Crops Manager for Daisy Farms, Jeff Fowler, is utilizing subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) and GPS technology to improve the dairy and crop operation’s efficiency. The subsurface drip irrigation system was installed on clay soils to make good on its commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship, as well as to get the most out of every drop of water.
“Drip irrigation is close to 100 percent efficient,” Fowler says. “We put water straight to the roots; we get no runoff; we don’t need as much water. When we put on a half-inch, we get a half-inch. We don’t have to apply three-fourths of an inch to get what we need.” Continue reading
Since the drought of 2012, water shortages have been an on-going issue. Amongst those affected, growers in the San Joaquin Valley are receiving only a 20 percent allocation, and it could get worse. Growers are concerned that the shortages could extend into 2014. Continue reading
On May 15, UC Davis held its annual Alfalfa Field Day to discuss a number of topics, including pest management, varietal trials, and irrigation management. However, the highlight of the field day was the discussion on subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) for alfalfa.
UC Davis Extension agronomist and forage specialist, Dan Putnam, provided the benefits and disadvantages of alfalfa on SDI and introduced a three year project that is currently looking at the water use, yield opportunities, and rodent management strategies associated with SDI. As part of this effort, UC Davis will launch an online sharing group to allow grower collaboration for SDI on alfalfa. More information can be found at http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/. Continue reading
As the worst drought in 50 years grips the nation’s farmland, some Nebraska producers are seeing increased yields using significantly fewer water resources. The trick, they say, is using Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) to deliver water and nutrients directly to Read the full article…