The 2006 World Ag Expo opens its first-ever Irrigation Center in conjunction with the Irrigation Association and Fresno State’s International Center for Water Technology (ICWT).

The Irrigation Center’s three days of irrigation workshops will feature the latest technologies offered by leading manufacturers with emphasis on technologies, products and innovations that improve the efficient use of water and energy for irrigation.

David Zoldoske, director of Fresno State’s ICWT, said it is vital that all means should be taken to properly and profitably utilize water, which is not an unlimited resource. Media sponsorship support will be provided by Capital Press, an agricultural newspaper circulating in California and Pacific Northwest. “Water is the most critical issue for the western farmers and ranchers, said Capital Press Publisher Elaine Shein. She added that Capital Press covers water issues weekly, and will publish the second annual, special section on water with emphasis on Irrigation. Free copies of this section will be available in the Irrigation Center.

Erin Ferguson, World Ag Expo’s chairman said irrigation and water is a top concern for California growers noting the new Irrigation Center reflects the importance of irrigation to both industry and community.

“Being a farmer here in California’s Central Valley, I know first-hand that irrigation is very important to all of us,” Ferguson said. “As the population grows, water is being spread out among more people, so we as farmers have to find new and innovative ways to irrigate our crops while ensuring ample, clean drinking water for that growing population.”

“Water is the limiting factor in California agriculture,” he added. “The state of California is projected to have a 40 percent increase in its population over the next 25 years, so agriculture must continue to improve managing its water and energy resources. These Irrigation Center seminars are an effort in that direction.”

The 40-minute seminars, which run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. are free and open to all World Ag Expo attendees.

Following are the 3-day seminar topics and speakers:

Feb. 14, 2006

10-10:10 a.m. — Introductions and announcements.

10:10–10:50 a.m. — Water Conservation in 2006, Ken Morris, Agri-Valley Irrigation, Inc.

11-11:40 a.m. — The Economics of Irrigation Uniformity, Inge Bisconer, Rain Bird Corp. Agri-Products Division.

11:50–12:30 p.m. — Water Applications Solutions for Row Crops and Tree & Vine Crops, John Rowley and Reid Nelson, Nelson Irrigation Co.

12:40 – 1:20 p.m. — So Many Filters – So Many Choices, Randy Delenikos, Lakos Separators and Filters.

1:30 – 2:10 p.m. — Low Volume Irrigation versus Surface Irrigation: Pro’s and Con’s, Erick Hopkins and Keegan O’Bannon, Fresno Valves & Casting.

Feb. 15, 2006

10-10:10 a.m. — Introductions and announcements.

10:10-10:50 a.m. — Drip System Troubleshooting, Paul McFadden, Roberts Irrigation.

11-11:40 a.m. — Choosing the Right Filter to do the Job, Ken Morrill, Morrill Industries.

11:50-12:30 p.m. — Pump Selection, Jim Martin, Cal West Rain.

12:40-1:20 p.m. — The Microsprinkler Advantage, Ken Berg, Bowsmith, Inc.

1:30-2:10 p.m. — Invention Gets to the Root of Aeration, Angelo Mazzei and Ed Davis, Mazzei Injector Co.

Feb. 16, 2006

10-10:10 a.m. — Introductions and announcements.

10:10-10:50 a.m. — Dripper and Micro Sprinkler Flow Paths, Chris Cannella and David Dunn, Rain-for-Rent.

11-11:40 a.m. — Uniformity Matters, Perry Continente, Toro Ag.

11:50-12:30 p.m. — Soil Moisture Scheduling, Tom Penning, Irrometer.

12:40-1:20 p.m. — Ag Irrigation Consumer Bill of Rights – What is it and What Does it Mean? David Clay, Netafim USA.

1:30-2:10 p.m. — Modern Electronic Controllers, Uses and Limitations, Eugene Carlson, CE Technical.

More information regarding the 2006 World Ag Expo may be obtained by going to its Web site www.farmshow.org.