Steve Melvin - Extension Educator Irrigated Cropping Systems

Steve Melvin

faculty, volunteer
Work
PO Box 27 1784 Fairgrounds Rd Central City NE 68826-0027
US

Irrigation end gun
End guns are a very common feature on center pivots in certain areas. (Photo by Steve Melvin)

Center Pivot End Gun Considerations

August 20, 2020
End guns have been on center pivots from almost the beginning and the merits of their use have been debated about as long. Some farmers would not have a pivot without an end gun and others would not have a pivot with one.

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Soil water gauge
Figure 1. Wouldn’t it be great to have a soil water gauge to help determine when the crop water supply is getting low just like the gauge in a pickup that tells how much fuel is left.

How To Keep Irrigation Cost Down On A Dry Year With Low Grain Prices

July 16, 2020
Irrigation expenses are usually the biggest energy cost on the farm. On dry years, they become even higher. So how does one know when the system must be started and when it can be turned off? How should the low commodity prices this year affect these decisions?

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Center pivot irrigation system watering a field

Vegetative Growth Stage Irrigation, Is It Needed This Year?

June 19, 2020
Research conducted by the University of Nebraska and elsewhere shows that corn is relatively drought tolerant during the vegetative period, but very sensitive to water stress during silking through early grain fill.

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ET sensors in a field

Is It Too Easy to Turn Irrigation Water On?

May 28, 2020
Every irrigator can make excellent irrigation scheduling decisions by getting the right information and analyzing the data. Today it is easier they ever to install equipment the will automatically record and help analyze the data before sending it to your computer or smartphone.

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pivot irrigation system operating in a corn field

Center Pivot Safety, an Essential Part of a Satisfying and Profitable Year

May 7, 2020
Pivots have several potential hazards, making it important to review safety procedures each year with every person on the farm. Every person that will operate the system should read all the safety instructions in the machine’s manual or be trained by a knowledgeable trainer.

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Common Problems Regarding Center Pivot Operating Pressure and Uniformity

January 22, 2020
Pivots operating below or above the designed water pressure can create uniformity issues across fields and/or increase operating expenses.

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Center pivot irrigating late-season corn

Scheduling the Last Irrigations in a Year with Delayed Crop Maturity

August 23, 2019
The last few irrigations of the season require some of the most important water management decisions of the year. An unneeded irrigation may waste 1 to 3 inches of water and 2 to 5 gallons of diesel fuel per acre and leave little room in the soil profile to capture winter/spring rains.

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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

June 14, 2019
Installing soil water monitors and making irrigation scheduling decisions based on sensor data will be the focus of two luncheon workshops this month in central Nebraska.

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