Efficient use of available water supplies has never been more important to agriculture. Ten speakers will provide information on the latest technology from the irrigation industry to help farmers produce more food and fiber in the face of reduced irrigation water supplies.

10:00 a.m.

Comparison of Drip Irrigated and Dryland Field Corn, Michael Dowgert, Market Manager, Agriculture, Netafim USA.

Supply and price demands have moved corn to the front as a primary crop instead of a standard rotation. In response to this expansion, studies have been made comparing drip irrigated and dryland field corn. Preliminary results indicate yields are strongly correlated with plant population, fertility and amount and timing of water applications.

10:30 a.m.

Helping Grower’s Decide: The Drip/Micro Irrigation Payback Wizard, Inge Bisconer, Technical Marketing and Sales Manager, Toro.

The Drip/Microp Irrigation Payback Wizard, an online tool developed in partnership with The Irrigation Association, can help growers easily recognize various cost saving, revenue enhancement and water conservation benefits associated with the conversion to drip irrigation technology.

11:00 a.m.

Process Guidelines for Converting from Surface Irrigation to Precision Irrigation, Jacob LaRue, Manager Project and Product Support, Valmont Industries, Inc.

With the help of governmental assistance programs, the economics of irrigation have changed, and have incentivized farmers to consider conversion from surface irrigation to other forms of precision irrigation, primarily aimed at reducing farm water use. The discussion will focus on what farmers should do when considering conversion to precision irrigation.

11:30 a.m.

Agricultural Irrigation Systems Automation, David W Dunn, Ag Irrigation Designer, Rain For Rent.

While irrigation has always been a critical component of any agricultural production system, increasing concerns over water availability, conservation and crop quality necessitate new approaches to the design and management of agricultural irrigation. This presentation focuses on some of the leading uses and benefits of technology for irrigation effectiveness and efficiency.

Noon

Irrigation Control for the 21st Century, Jacob Christfort, president, Ranch Systems.

While irrigation has always been a critical component of any agricultural growing system, increasing concerns over water availability, conservation, and crop quality necessitate new approaches to the design and management of agricultural irrigation. This presentation focuses on some of the leading uses and benefits of technology for irrigation effectiveness and efficiency, emphasizing three main areas of opportunity: Reduced cost of new system installation and/or existing system retrofit through wireless valve control.

12:30 p.m.

Increase Profitability and Optimize Productivity with Efficient Water and Chemical Use, Matt Angell, VP, Grower Market Development PureSense Environmental.

Achieving high-quality, high-yield crops depends on many factors. Of these, soil moisture is paramount to achieve optimum crop performance. Understanding your soil type and variability is key to formulating an irrigation strategy for your crop to maintain target soil moisture. The presentation will include methodologies and practices that can be used to determine operational targets, when to irrigate, and how much to irrigate to optimize plants’ growth for predictable improvement in quality and yield.

1:00 p.m.

Improvement of Soil Water Status and Crop Productivity by Low Level Surfactant Treatment, Matthew Quist, Regional Manager, Aquatrols.

Soil water repellency (SWR) affects an array of hydrological processes, including infiltration, overland flow, soil erosion, preferential flow and leaching of agrichemicals. While SWR has been reported in soil for decades, effects on productivity are only now being understood in high value economic crops.

1:30 p.m.

Managing Soil Moisture in Fields Using a Portable Wave Reflectometer and a Web-Based Mapping Utility, Doug Kieffer, Soil/Water Product Manger, Spectrum Technologies.

Current drought conditions across the country will dictate improved irrigation management. Vegetables and fruits are more likely to be drip irrigated, while row crops are usual candidates for sprinkler systems. The new Irrigation Soil Moisture Audit combines the use of a portable electronic wave reflectometer and a Web-based mapping utility to give managers soil moisture results via the Internet.

2:00 p.m.

Central Coast Irrigation and Nutrient Management Program, Monica Barricarte, Environmental Scientist, Central Coast Water Quality Control Board.

The Central Coast Water Board is working with stakeholders timplement the Central Coast Irrigation and Nutrient Management Program (CCINMP). The CCINMP directly implements the most important pollution prevention and reduction strategy, irrigation and nutrient management, to address discharges from irrigated lands on a regional, watershed-based scale. The program focuses on priority growers, targeted irrigation and nutrient management practices, and includes specific performance measures to assess progress towards and achievement of the program goals and objectives.

2:30 p.m..

Irrigation Pump Efficiency Testing, Bill Green, Education Manager, CSUF Center for Irrigation Technology.

Twenty percent of the energy consumed in California is used to move water. Energy-efficient pumps moving water properly can save huge amounts of electricity and fossil power. A test can be performed to determine Overall Pumping Plant Efficiency (OPE) of an individual pump, comparing energy into the plant versus energy out in the form of water flow and pressure developed by the pump. Thousands of tests in California in recent years have shown a significant number of pumps have room for improvement.