Ag educators can learn about irrigation systems and related teaching curriculum at the 2017 Irrigation Agriculture Faculty Academy. The national conference, sponsored by the national Irrigation Foundation, will be held in Grand Island June 8-9.
With low soil moisture levels in many areas of the state, early spring often is the best time to irrigate alfalfa. A good goal would be to have at least six feet of soil at field capacity at first cutting. Irrigating now also helps build a reserve water source to encourage deeper rooting.
Traditional irrigation decision-making relies heavily on experience and requires frequent visits to the field. The process is time consuming and labor demanding, while the results are not quantitative and prone to error.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have received a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a second generation of underground sensor technology to automate decision-making for crop irrigation.