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Tag Archives: SDI
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
Two Kansas State University faculty members recently joined experts from around the world in China for an information exchange about micro-irrigation technologies.
Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer at K-State’s Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby, and Gary Clark, senior associate dean for the College of Engineering and professor of biological and agricultural engineering, were invited presenters at the Irrigation in Action Symposium at China Agricultural University in Beijing, in October. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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