Getting the Most Out of Your Irrigation and Nitrogen Dollars

Getting the Most Out of Your Irrigation and Nitrogen Dollars

July 24, 2009

The Irrigation Strategies Field Tour Series will demonstrate methods and focus on strategies for getting the most effective use of your irrigation water and energy dollars while conserving water.

"The primary focus is on working with producers and crop consultants to develop and demonstrate soil moisture monitoring equipment and irrigation scheduling strategies on farmer fields," said Steve Melvin, UNL Extension Educator.

Melvin hopes the series will make irrigation decisions as easy as using the fuel guage to keep fuel in the tank.

Applying the optimum level of water is more important today than ever, he said. Applying excess water is an unnecesary cost, leaches nitrogen below the root zone, and can lower yields. Putting on too little water will also lower yields, he said.

The program will teach efficient irrigation methods that will lower pumping plant energy costs and apply the optimum amount of water.

Field tour topics will vary by location and include:

  • Water Resource Update
  • Comparing Irrigation Energy Sources: Costs and Emissions Requirements
  • Water Savings with Crop Residue Management
  • Monitoring Crop Water Use and Soil Moisture Status - Simple, Durable, Accurate, and Economical Tools
  • How the Amount of Water and Nitrogen Applied with a Center Pivot Effects Crop Yield
  • How to Get the Most from Your Nitrogen Dollar
  • Where Slow Release Nitrogen Fertilization Fits into Corn Production
  • Variable Rate Irrigation Equipment for Center Pivots
  • Predicting the Last Irrigation
  • How Time of Application and Amount of Water Applied Effects Crop Yield

Program speakers include Extension Specialists Bill Kranz, Irrigation, Derrel Martin, Irrigation and Water Resources; Steve Melvin, Extension Educator, Charles Shapiro, Soils, and Simon van Donk, Irrigation and Water Resources.

For more information about the Irrigation Strategies Field Tour Series, contact Melvin at (308) 367-4424 or

Tour Schedule

  • Ainsworth, Monday, August 3, 6:30 p.m. Location: 5½ miles west of Ainsworth on Hwy 20 and 2 ½ miles north on a county road. The field entrance is ½ mile west on the north side of the road.
  • Alma, Thursday, August 6, 6 p.m. Location: 6 3/4 miles north of Alma on Hwy. 183 or ¼ mile south of the intersection of Hwy. 183 & Nebraska Hwy 42A (Huntly Road). The field is on the west side of the highway. The program will start on the east side of the road at the Vince Colgan place.
  • Curtis, Monday, August 17, 6 p.m. Location: From the intersection of Nebraska Hwy 23 & Center St. (flashing light in Curtis), go 6 blocks north to dead end, turn east (right) and go ½ block, then north (left) and follow the road 0.3 mile. Turn east into field road.
  • Benkelman, Tuesday, August 18, 5 p.m MDT. The field is located 6 miles west of the intersection of Nebraska Hwy 61 and Road 712 (6 miles north of Benkelman). Turn north on to Avenue 332. The plot is ¾ mile north on Avenue 332 on the east side of the road.
  • Gothenburg, Thursday, August 20, 6 p.m. The field is located 1 ½ miles east of the intersection of Nebraska Hwy. 47 and Road 767/27th Street (north edge of Gothenburg). The plot is on the north side of road.