facebook_pixel

Georgia Extension Testing Agricultural Water Use

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Photo – University of Georgia

 

As part of an irrigation efficiency study by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, a 29-person team of social scientists, agricultural economists, climatologists, agricultural engineers and UGA Extension agents from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is studying agricultural irrigation in order to increase the water-use efficiency in row crops common to southern Georgia.

Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension, started the project in response to a report issued during the Georgia-Florida water wars, a legal dispute over water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. During the trial, Georgia was criticized for agricultural water use that, according to the report, had remained largely unchecked, Johnson said.

“We’re working all the time to be more efficient and effective with our water use,” Johnson said. “(We’d) like to be able to show that we have promoted the adoption of technology and that we can document a decrease in agricultural water usage or at least obtain a higher (water use) efficiency with our water usage.”

The team consists of 13 Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agents from Extension’s Southeast and Southwest districts. This year, each agent identified two local cotton farmers who they felt were progressive and willing to adopt technology. Three soil water-tension probes, each with three sensors, were installed in each of those farmers’ fields. The farmers irrigated using data from the probes, and they verified the information provided by an irrigation-scheduling smartphone app developed by team member and UGA precision agriculture expert George Vellidis.

“We have to increase production with equal or less water,” said Calvin Perry, team coordinator and superintendent of UGA’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla, GA. “We feel like you can do that by adopting technology that helps you better schedule your irrigation. We’ve seen through research that, over a growing season, when you apply water is often as important or more important than how much water you apply. You can potentially increase yields and quality with the same amount of water if you put it on at those critical times.”

This project allows for irrigation experts like Vellidis, Perry and Assistant Professor Wes Porter to familiarize county agents and farmers with Vellidis’ SmartIrrigation Cotton App and soil moisture sensors in an effort to increase adoption rates of these water-conserving tools.

“The (Cotton App) consistently increases both water use efficiency and cotton yield over a standard ‘checkbook’ practice, both in wet and dry years,” Porter said. “This project is pivotal in leading an effort at advancing irrigation scheduling tools and technology adoption on farms across our state.”

Johnson enlisted the help of Abigail Borron and Jessica Holt, assistant professors in the college’s agricultural leadership, education and communication department, to measure and understand producer and agent perceptions and behaviors associated with technology adoption. They are studying certain ideas, attitudes and beliefs to provide producers with water-use information, training and technology in the future. Agricultural economists Adam Rabinowitz and Amanda Smith are examining the economics behind the implementation of these irrigation efficiency practices, including costs and producer behavior. Gary Hawkins, a UGA Extension specialist in water resource management and policy, is working with Extension 4-H specialist Melanie Biersmith and agricultural climatologist Pam Knox to share the knowledge gained from this research with policymakers, Georgia residents and youth.

“Extending the knowledge gained on the farm to these other citizens helps spread the word that farmers are working to better manage water resources to produce the food and fiber we use and consume daily,” Hawkins said.

Ian Flitcroft, who manages the UGA Weather Network, and Extension ANR Program Development Coordinators Bobby Smith (Northeast District), Jule-Lynne Macie (Northwest District), Wade Parker (Southeast District) and Scott Utley (Southwest District) are also part of the team.

“Putting too much water on the crops does not help and can reduce water availability for other people,” Knox said. “Our project on the use of smart irrigation techniques that includes the monitoring of soil moisture will help make sure there is enough water available for everyone.”

Topics: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Georgia Extension Testing Agricultural Water Use

Precision Technology Stories
Precision Technology

Are You a Precision Grower?

November 15, 2017

Gathering, analysis and application still seems to be the best basic definition of precision agriculture.

PrecisionAg Vision Conference October 10-12, 2017 Phoenix AZ
Precision Technology

See How Technology Will Revolutionize Global Ag Production

September 20, 2017

The final agenda for the PrecisionAg® Vision Conference delivers high-impact keynotes, a track for specialty crops, and an Arizona field tour.

Precision Technology

Deere to Acquire Blue River Technology

September 7, 2017

Deere has signed an agreement to acquire Blue River Technology, a leader in applying machine learning to agriculture, for $305 million.

Precision Technology

Cotton Picking Robots?

August 25, 2017

Can an army of small robots change the way cotton is harvested? Dr. Ed Barnes thinks it’s not only possible, but highly probable.

Precision Technology

AMVAC Grants Trimble Global Distribution Rights for SIMPAS

August 22, 2017

AMVAC and Trimble are finalizing an agreement granting Trimble global distribution rights for AMVAC’s patented SIMPAS prescriptive application equipment.

Precision Technology

Precision Ag Southern Style

August 22, 2017

A customer-first focus helps Agri-AFC’s Amy Winstead keep the company's precision programs coordinated, on target…and growing.

Precision Technology

Keep an Eye on Those Droplets!

April 19, 2017

As growers embrace new herbicides, Ag Leader brings precision monitoring to the spray rig.

Around The Gin
Product News

Bayer Looking for FiberMax One Ton Club Growers for 2017

November 16, 2017

Cotton growers who produce an average of 2,000 lb/A on 20 or more acres planted to FiberMax varieties in 2017 are eligible to be part of the 13th annual FiberMax One Ton Club.

Product News

Monsanto Delays NemaStrike for Additional Review

November 2, 2017

After finding cases of skin irritation, Monsanto is pulling its nematode seed treatment NemaStrike for further product review.

Product News

Intrepid Trio: Naturally Balanced Nutrition in Every Granule

November 1, 2017

Intrepid Trio contains three essential nutrients for cotton plants.

Product News

Save Time, Increase Efficiencies with Mixmate

November 1, 2017

Mixmate from Praxidyn is a precision chemical mixing system for small farms to large enterprises.

Product News

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication

November 1, 2017

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication is committed to providing the highest level of service, honesty and integrity, regardless of project size.

Product News

Delivering Proven Performance Across the Cotton Belt

November 1, 2017

Seed varieties, traits and crop protection products from Bayer deliver proven performance to growers across the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Growers Continue to Count on Americot and NexGen

November 1, 2017

Americot is dedicated to working with cotton growers throughout the Cotton Belt to provide elite performing NexGen varieties within the marketplace.

Product News

Deere Adds New Narrow Track Versions to 9RX Tractor Lineup

November 1, 2017

John Deere has added three new 9RX Narrow Track Tractors, expanding its lineup of high-horsepower machines.

Latest News
Precision Technology

Are You a Precision Grower?

November 15, 2017

Gathering, analysis and application still seems to be the best basic definition of precision agriculture.

Precision Technology

Free Webinar Set on Defining Ag Data Ownership

November 2, 2017

A free webinar on November 13 hopes to answer some of the questions about who controls and has access to data generated on farms.

Precision Technology

Georgia Extension Testing Agricultural Water Use

October 17, 2017

A team of University of Georgia Extension specialists is studying agricultural irrigation to help increase the water-use efficiency in southern Georgia row crops.

Precision Technology

See How Technology Will Revolutionize Global Ag Production

September 20, 2017

The final agenda for the PrecisionAg® Vision Conference delivers high-impact keynotes, a track for specialty crops, and an Arizona field tour.

Precision Technology

Deere to Acquire Blue River Technology

September 7, 2017

Deere has signed an agreement to acquire Blue River Technology, a leader in applying machine learning to agriculture, for $305 million.

Precision Technology

Cotton Picking Robots?

August 25, 2017

Can an army of small robots change the way cotton is harvested? Dr. Ed Barnes thinks it’s not only possible, but highly probable.

Precision Technology

AMVAC Grants Trimble Global Distribution Rights for SIMPAS

August 22, 2017

AMVAC and Trimble are finalizing an agreement granting Trimble global distribution rights for AMVAC’s patented SIMPAS prescriptive application equipment.

Precision Technology

Precision Ag Southern Style

August 22, 2017

A customer-first focus helps Agri-AFC’s Amy Winstead keep the company's precision programs coordinated, on target…and growing.

Precision Technology

Keep an Eye on Those Droplets!

April 19, 2017

As growers embrace new herbicides, Ag Leader brings precision monitoring to the spray rig.

Precision Technology

Cotton Weeds Next Target for See & Spray

April 3, 2017

A dream machine that “sees” and treats weeds while leaving crops alone is headed for 2017 testing in cotton.

Precision Technology

Texas A&M AgriLife Updates Unmanned Aerial Systems Program

January 31, 2017

The Texas A&M AgriLife Research unmanned aerial systems research team recently provided updates on project results from across Texas.

Precision Technology

Clemson: Nutrient Management Sensors Can Cut Back Costs

November 16, 2016

Clemson University has made available to cotton growers a new sensor-based nutrient management plan that can help reduce expenses and environment impact.

Precision Technology

MoneyBoll: Bringing a Data Revolution to Cotton

September 20, 2016

Much like statistics revolutionized baseball, Lubbock-based GISC is poised to bring a similar data revolution to cotton.

Precision Technology

New Webcast Shows Use and Value of On-Farm Data

May 10, 2016

A new webcast focused on the use and value of farm-level data has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

Precision Technology

As Cotton Prices Wane, Growers Turn To Precision Ag

December 10, 2015

In today’s cotton market, practices such as variable rate fertilizer applications can pay immediate, important dividends.