Tag Archives: subsurface drip irrigation

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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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

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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

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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

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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

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Drip Watering System: 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

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Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) Brings Improved Crop Health, Efficiency & Reduced Labor Costs to Kansas Farm

Roger Johnson and his family have farmed an 80-acre plot just outside the western city limits of Hoxie, Kan., for years under flood irrigation. Even while using all of the 800 gallons per minute available, it was necessary to split the 80-acre piece in two and farm different crops to manage the water.

“We always had problems getting water through the field,” Johnson explains, “and many times the crop we produced would be very good on one end of the field and nonexistent at the other. I remember before we installed subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) on the field, one year we made 165 bushels of corn there.”

In 2012, a very dry year even in country that expects only 15 to 18 inches of rainfall annually, Johnson and his brother, Bob, and son, Heath, binned 220 bushels per acre on the 80-acre field by applying water at a 600-gallonper- minute rate—75% of the well’s capacity—with subsurface drip irrigation. This past year, that same field produced a 79-bushel soybean crop. Continue reading

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