WEBINAR REVIEW: Making Drip Irrigation Pay

Steven & Chris Cox, Cox Valley View Farms, Long Island, KS

Last week, we blogged about a free webinar produced by the Grange Network called “Making Drip Pay” that discussed how to increase income, reduce costs, and improve flexibility with drip irrigation.  Led by Inge Bisconer of Toro Micro-Irrigation, the webinar highlighted how growers have quickly paid for the investment.  For example, Chris and Stephen Cox, a father son team in Kansas, paid for their $1,100 per acre system in 1.5 years by increasing corn yields by 100 bushels per acre, and by reducing costs by about $160 per acre. They also received $330/acre of EQIP cost share.

Here are a few other case studies that were discussed in the webinar:

  • Chuck Herrin of Worth Farms near Huron, CA used drip to raise average overall yields to 64 tons/acre.  He also decreased water and fertilizer use by a third and labor costs by half.
  • Loyd Jordan pulled the same number of bales of cotton from 80 acres of drip as he did on his 120 acres of pivots near Lubbock, Texas.
  • Larry Standage of Vale Oregon loves drip because it allowed him to offer his customers unifom bags of onions
  • Bob and Rob Thomas got double the amount of alfalfa with drip than they did with flood.

Of course, every farm situation is different.  So to help growers better understand how drip irrigation can help, the webinar directed attendees to Toro’s FREE online Drip Irrigation Payback Wizard that allows growers to customize crop and irrigation data to estimate how long it would take to pay for an investment in drip irrigation.  If the return looks promising, growers can then turn to Toro’s FREE drip irrigation design software, Aqua-Flow 3.2, to rough out a drip irrigation design (note: the webinar recommends meeting with an authorized Toro dealer for final designs).  Lastly, the Toro Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual provides growers guidance on how to install, operate and maintain a state-of-the-art drip irrigation system.

If you missed this popular webinar or would like to watch it again, click here to view the entire recorded webinar (with audio) at the Grange Network.

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