Tag Archives: california farm bureau federation

California Farmers Say Irrigation Technology & Efficiency is the Future for Agriculture

Irrigation supply stores throughout California report brisk sales, and irrigation experts say extreme drought has prompted a closer look at emerging technology to help stretch dwindling water supplies.

California farmers invested more than $3 billion in improved irrigation technology between 2003 and 2013, according to Danny Merkley, California Farm Bureau Federation water resources director.

“Already, farmers have upgraded irrigation systems on more than 2.6 million acres statewide,” Merkley said. Many farmers and ranchers see technology as a way to accelerate water supply management capability and better integrate a variety of operations, while noting that a combination of efficiency improvements and investment in new water storage and recycling will be needed to assure future supplies.

“I’ve worked in two-dozen countries consulting on various aspects of applied irrigation technology, and find California farmers are doing an outstanding job of adopting technology for better water management,” said Charles Burt, chairman of the Irrigation Training and Research Center at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Continue reading

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Growers Convert to Drip Irrigation as Water Shortages Continue

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

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Central Valley Farmers Cope with Water Supply Cut, Convert to Drip Irrigation

Cutbacks on water delivery from the federal Central Valley Project has left farmers, like Ted Sheeley, looking for ways to cut their water use.  Sheeley, who farms in the Huron area, western Kings County, and eastern Fresno County, has traditionally used flood and sprinkler irrigation, but with the water cutbacks, it is difficult to fulfill his processing tomato and cotton contracts.  Sheeley has begun converting his flood and sprinkler irrigated fields to drip irrigation to optimize his water use and plans to be completely converted within 3 to 4 years. Continue reading

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