Conservation Matters September 2018

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Field days in Texas and Kansas draw individuals interested in water management

By Alexandra Hoskins

Field days in Texas and Kansas draw individuals interested in water management Thomas Marek speaks to producers at field days in Bushland. Photo by Dr. Dana Porter.

As Labor Day signals the end of summer and beginning of fall, field days across the Ogallala Aquifer region sent attendees off with information about water management and summer crops to carry into next year’s growing season.

In Texas, the Summer Crops/OAP (Ogallala Aquifer Program) Center Pivot Irrigation Field Day took place Aug. 9 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)’s Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland.

Attendees toured the area and listened to presentations about center pivot systems, optimizing water use in vegetable production, turfgrass irrigation practices, pest management, mobile drip irrigation, variable rate irrigation, soil sensor comparisons under varied irrigation levels and site-specific irrigation.

During lunch, the attendees heard a presentation on the history of sprinkler irrigation on the Texas High Plains, presented by Jim Bordovsky, Texas A&M AgriLife Research senior research scientist and agricultural engineer.

Experts from Texas A&M AgriLife, Kansas State University and USDA-ARS presented to the attendees throughout the day.

In Kansas, the Water Technology Field Day was hosted by Kansas State University Southwest Research and Extension Center Aug. 15 at Roth Farms in Garden City. 

The field day featured a unique three-for-one program, which highlighted information about the Roth family farm, the OAP center pivot technology program and demonstrations on soil water sensors.

Speakers from Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University and the Kansas Water Office presented on topics including scheduling using climatic, soil or aerial-based technology, center pivot nozzle package performance and limited irrigation management.

These field days were two of many recently held throughout the Ogallala Aquifer region in conjunction with the OAP and the Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project (CAP). Both Ogallala projects will be featured in the upcoming fall issue of the Texas Water Resources Institute’s txH2O magazine.  

For more information about activities from both projects, visit the OAP website and the Ogallala CAP website.

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