Workshops Focus on Irrigation Scheduling to Save Money, Water Even in Wet Years

Figure 1. Fuel gauges help us determine how long until we need to put fuel in the tank and how much it will hold. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a gauge on your crop to tell you when to irrigate? Learn more about how soil water monitoring equipment can provide you similar information at two workshops on June 19 in Aurora and June 25 in York.

Workshops Focus on Irrigation Scheduling to Save Money, Water Even in Wet Years

Irrigation season is here and it brings to mind the age-old question of “When should I start the next irrigation and how much water should I apply?” The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Upper Big Blue Natural Resource District are partnering to conduct two workshops to help answer these questions. The program will focus on installing equipment and making irrigation scheduling decisions using the data generated by Watermark sensors.

The workshops will be Wednesday, June 19 at The Leadership Center, 211 Q St (E Hwy 34) in Aurora and Tuesday, June 25 at the Chances R Restaurant, 124 West Fifth Street, York. On both days the program will start with lunch at 12 pm, followed by the speakers and wrapping up around 1:30 pm. The Upper Big Blue NRD will provide the lunch. RSVP is not required, but would be appreciated for a meal count. Call the Hamilton County Extension office at 402-694-6174 or email Steve Melvin at

The educational program will include two presentations:

  • “Installation of Watermark Sensors and Data Loggers” by Dan Leininger, water conservationist with the Upper Big Blue NRD; and
  • “Deciding When and How Much Water to Apply Using Watermark Sensor Readings” by Steve Melvin, extension educator with University Of Nebraska-Lincoln. The irrigation scheduling strategies presented in Melvin’s presentation can be used with any soil water monitoring equipment data.

If you are unable to attend, check out the Nebraska Extension publication “Irrigation Scheduling Strategies When Using Soil Water Data,” available online and at your local Nebraska Extension office.

"The mission of the event is to share cutting edge irrigation management strategies that can help farmers apply just the right amount of water to their crops to produce top yields, reduce energy costs, leave more water in the aquifer, and reduce nitrate leaching,” Melvin said.  “The program is free of charge to the participants thanks to our sponsors.”

For more information on this workshop, contact Steve Melvin at (308) 946-3843 or visit

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.