Tag Archives: SDI

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

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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

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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

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Drip Irrigation Resources

Over the years, we’ve created several helpful guides, tools, videos, and webpages to help growers, like you, learn about drip irrigation and get the most from a drip system.  Click the following links to explore our archive of drip irrigation resources. Continue reading

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Farming Faces a “New World” with Research, Subsurface Drip Irrigation and Data

With new technologies and new research on everything from moisture sensors to subsurface drip irrigation to new apps for smartphones, it’s a whole new world for farming. And since nothing drives home the importance of improving irrigation efficiency like a four-year drought, farmers are looking to technology and efficient farming practices to maximize yield and minimize resources, such as water and fertilizer. Continue reading

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Farmer Saves Big with Subsurface Drip Irrigation on Potatoes

Drip Irrigation on PotatoesA Florida-based potato farmer who recently won an award for his sustainable irrigation methods firmly believes all farmers should adopt subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) for the good of the planet.

Riverdale Potato Farms vice president and third generation family member Bryan Jones, last month received one of the state’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards for the subsurface drip irrigation system he developed with his father.

“The results are remarkable.” Continue reading

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Subsurface Drip Irrigation Isn’t Rocket Science – But It Requires Management

subsurface drip irrigationWith drought gripping much of the Great Plains and western states, and with groundwater reserves declining and water regulations increasing, growers and their CCAs are finding ways to get more crop per drop with precision irrigation.

Starting in 1993, CCA Bill Cox, agricultural consultant at CoxCo Ag Services in Las Cruces, NM, has helped his clients convert thousands of acres of center-pivot irrigation to the more water-efficient subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems, in which buried drip lines below the soil surface deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant’s root zone with minimal losses to surface evaporation or deep percolation.

With SDI, Cox’s growers are able to sharply reduce waste compared with other irrigation systems like furrow and center-pivot irrigation. That enables his growers to put more water to use for crop production, he says. But don’t confuse water use efficiency with water conservation, Cox stresses. The goal isn’t necessarily to use less water, but to get more production with the water that you have. Continue reading

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K-State to Celebrate 25 Years of Subsurface Drip Irrigation Research with Field Day

Through drought and wind, hail and rain, for 25 years Kansas State University researchers have studied subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) technology for field crop production. To mark the anniversary, K-State’s Northwest Research-Extension Center at Colby will host a special anniversary SDI Technology Field Day on Wednesday, August 6 at 105 Experiment Farm Road in Colby.

“This is where growers can come to have their questions answered,” said Freddie Lamm, research irrigation engineer with K-State Research and Extension. “We’ve built in plenty of opportunities for this to be an interactive day.” Continue reading

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