Ag Water Use and Drought-Tolerant Crops Among Timely Topics at Sept. 13 Field Day

Ag Water Use and Drought-Tolerant Crops Among Timely Topics at Sept. 13 Field Day

August 24, 2012

Agricultural water use and the issues and research associated with it will be in the spotlight September 13 at the West Central Water and Crops Field Day. In one of the driest years on record, the impact of water, or lack thereof, is inescapable across the state. Learn more about the research underway to achieve more efficient ag water use and its practical applications in the field.

The one-day program will be held at UNL's West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte. Event registrations are requested by September 7. The program begins with registration and exhibits at 8 a.m., followed by a program from 9 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

Topics and Speakers

Morning presentations will address ag water use topics and the afternoon will feature a tour of research and field demonstrations. Topics and speakers for the event are:

  • Breeding Crops for Water Use Efficiency with Tom Hoegemeyer, UNL plant breeder, and Aaron Lorenz, UNL plant geneticist. Scientists pursue cutting-edge tools to more effectively characterize drought response, map genes, and increase genetic gain for drought tolerance through selection and sexual recombination. A description of modern day breeding programs and how they are being used to address critical needs, including water management, will be given.
  • Consumptive Water Use in Nebraska with Derrel Martin, UNL irrigation specialist. Understanding when and how water is being used for production agriculture is critical. Learn how to efficiently manage water in cropping systems to get the most “crop per drop.”
  • The Cost of Water with Matt Stockton, UNL ag economist. Current trends in climate and demand of agricultural products point to the need to manage water in the most beneficial way. Water is the lifeblood of farming and knowing its cost is essential to the sustainability and profitability of the farm.
  • A New Era for Water Perspectives with Roberto Lenton, director, Water for Food Institute. Many U.S. and world agencies are now focusing on food production. Learn about this development and the direction of future global programs related to water and ag production.

In the afternoon four tour stops will be repeated four times so you don’t have to miss any of these timely topics on improving crop production:

  • Invasive Weeds and Horticulture with Steve Young, UNL weed ecology specialist, and David Lott, UNL horticulture educator
  • Irrigation Research and Drought-Tolerant Corn Hybrids with Simon van Donk, UNL irrigation specialist; and John Shanahan, Pioneer Hi-Bred agronomy research manager
  • Nutrient and Water Management Strategies to Optimize Yields with Tim Shaver, UNL nutrient management specialist, and Charles Wortmann, UNL nutrient management specialist
  • Pesticides and Traits for Improving Agricultural Productivity with Greg Kruger, UNL cropping systems specialist; and Chandler Mazour, Monsanto Water Utilization Learning Center manager

Information & Registration

While the event is free, participants are invited to register by Friday, September 7, so appropriate plans can be made for meals, teaching resources, and tour logistics. For more information or to register, see the program brochure or call the UNL West Central Research and Extension Center at (308) 696-6701 or email

CCA credits have been applied for in soil and water.