West Cental REC Water and Crops Field Day Aug. 24

Daran Rudnick speaking with irrigation specialists
Figure 1. Daran Rudnick, Nebraska Extension irrigation specialist at the West Central REC, shares details of the UNL-TAPS project with some tour participants earlier this summer.

West Cental REC Water and Crops Field Day Aug. 24

Learn from growers and researchers about how they're testing new ways to maintain or increase crop yields while saving water at this year's Water and Crops Field Day. The event, co-sponsored by Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance (NEWBA), will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24 at the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte.

This field day offers a unique opportunity for anyone interested in water to view farm scale irrigation practices and cropping systems that maintain or increase crop production while conserving water. In addition to University of Nebraska researchers conducting water and crops research, this year's program will include five guest speakers from other states dealing with issues of water-deficit crop production. They are

  • Chuck West, Thornton Distinguished Chair of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University
  • Jim Bordovsky, Agricultural Engineer and Research Scientist, Texas A&M University
  • Meagan Schipanski, Assistant Professor of Cropping Systems, Colorado State University
  • Bill Golden, Research Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University
  • Jason Warren, Associate Professor and Soil and Water Conservation/ Management Extension Specialist, Oklahoma State University

The theme for this year's event, Conversations on the Cutting Edge, speaks to the opportunity to view and discuss new practices and strategies to grow the more yield from the water available.

Program Areas & UNL-TAPS Plots

The program will open with presentations on what growers are studying through the new Testing Ag Performance Solutions (UNL-TAPS) contest being conducted at the WCREC. A panel of producers participating in the UNL-TAPS competition will share their experiences competing with peers to maximize efficiency and return on investment and/or yield.

Later sessions and the afternoon tours to field test sites will focus on three critical aspects of farm-water management: agronomy, economics, hydrology (water management), allowing attendees to hear about several topics or drill down and focus on one aspect in depth.

A working lunch will include updates from vendors, University of Nebraska-Lincoln administrators, and state agencies.

Exhibitors and Registration

Approximately 35 vendors and UNL-TAPS sponsors will showcase their latest ag water management technologies at the field day.

The day includes lunch and an ice cream social in the afternoon. Please register by August 21 either online at http://go.unl.edu/water-crops, by email to Jacque.herrick@unl.edu with your name, address, email and cell phone, or call Jacque Herrick at 308-696-6740. 

Program Topics

University of Nebraska and industry speakers will be presenting in three focus areas.

Late Morning Tracks

Hydrology (Water Management)

  • You can’t manage what you can’t measure (water holding capacity) — Ted Tietjen, producer and NEWBA project director
  • Stretching the Supply of Groundwater and Making it Pay in the Texas South Plains — Chuck West, Texas Tech University
  • Deficit Irrigation Research and Strategies - Texas High Plains — Jim Bordovosky, Texas A&M University


  • Market Update — Jessica Groskopf, Extension Educator for Agricultural Economics
  • Managing Through Difficult Times — Jon Walz
  • The Economics of Conservation — Bill Golden, Kansas State University


  • Cropping System Effects on Soil Quality under Limited Water Availability — Meagan Schipanski, Colorado State University
  • Row Placement Effects on Crop Performance and Root Growth Over Subsurface Drip Irrigation — Jason Warren, Oklahoma State University
  • I am a Farmer First — Jason Bode, producer, Hershey
Afternoon Tracks

Hydrology (Water Management) Track

  • TAPS Field Site — Daran Rudnick, Extension Irrigation Specialist, and Chuck Burr, Crops and Water Extension educator
  • Remote Monitoring of Irrigation Management Tools — Troy Ingram, Extension educator
  • Sensors for Nutrient and Water Management — Tim Shaver, Extension nutrient management specialist
  • Tracking and Documenting Groundwater/Surface Water Interactions — Doug Hallum

Economics Track

  • Economics of Western Corn Rootworm and Western Bean Cutworm Control — Julie Peterson, Extension entomologist, and Ron Seymour, Nebraska Extension Educator
  • Farm Systems Leading to Economic Success — Matt Stockton, Extension agricultural economist
  • UNL Grain Marketing App — Robert Tigner, Nebraska Extension Educator

Agronomy Track

  • Evaluating Cover Crops after Winter Wheat — Rodrigo Werle, Extension cropping systems specialist, and Todd Whitney, Nebraska Extension Educator
  • Forages/Cover Crops Production — Jerry Volesky, Extension range and forage specialist
  • Integrated Management of Rhizoctonia Root Disease of Soybean — Tony Adesemoye, extension plant pathologist
  • Maximizing Herbicide Applications to Minimize Yield Loss — Greg Kruger, extension Weed Science and Application Technology Specialist
  • Management of Bacterial Leaf Streak of Corn — Sarah Schlund and Strahinja Stepanovic, Nebraska Extension educator

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

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