AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.—On-farm irrigation use is becoming more prevalent as Alabama producers work to eliminate unknowns in the field and on the farm. Alabama Cooperative Extension System precision agriculture specialist, Dr. Brenda Ortiz, is offering an irrigation field day for producers in Town Creek, Alabama on June 26 at Posey Farms.
Ortiz said irrigation adoption is increasing in Alabama. She and her colleagues are working to help producers maximize irrigation crop impacts.
“Farmers will get full benefits if they use proper practices and technology to apply the right irrigation rates at the right time and right place,” she said. “Under irrigation can reduce yield and over irrigation can increase nutrient leaching risks.”
Use of ponds to store water during winter months for irrigation during the summer is key to reducing the risk for drought and protecting the environment. Ortiz said the workshop will highlight these topics and others.
Irrigation Field Day Information
Farmers, Extension agents and industry representatives will present throughout the day, providing a well-rounded program for producers looking to improve and expand their irrigation use.
Farmers will share tried and true irrigation practices, while Extension personnel will partner with industry representatives to showcase technology use to support irrigation decisions.
Ortiz said producers will visit several irrigation technology-based stops across a 460-acre irrigated field. The lunch hour will include speakers.
Posey Farm is working with Ortiz to demonstrate several practices including:
- Use of soil sensors for irrigation scheduling
- Variable rate irrigation
- Use of ponds for irrigation water storage
- Irrigation impact on nutrient movement
Representatives from several irrigation companies will also have booths and presentations at the workshop.
Registration for the irrigation field day begins at 7:30 a.m. Pre-registration is not required, but those planning to attend can contact Donna Shanklin or Danny McWilliams. Producers will head to the field at 8 a.m. Lunch will be provided. The event will conclude at 12:30 p.m.
For more information about irrigation systems in Alabama, check out the Extension publication Investment Costs of Center Pivot Irrigation in Alabama—Three Scenarios, ANR-2541.