Reinforcing its commitment to prolonging the future of the Ogallala Aquifer, the team at American Irrigation in Garden City, Kansas is actively involved in a new initiative to evaluate water application methods and technologies.
Established as part of the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas (Water Vision), three Water Technology Farms help researchers determine how to maximize water usage without compromising yields.
“We are involved with one of the farms located in Finney County - working closely with the landowner, the Garden City Company and the grower, Dwane Roth,” said Rod Stillwell of American Irrigation. “We are testing several available products on the same Zimmatic pivot, using different spans for different options, so that we have the same soil types, crop variety, water quality, fertilizer and chemicals, GPA applied and a more equal growing environment.”
Among the technologies integrated into the farm’s irrigation system is FieldNET™ by Lindsay Pivot Control, a remote management tool that gives growers the ability to monitor and control the system from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
“Pivot Control delivers real time information and enhanced management tools,” Stillwell said. “It also provides up-to-the-minute alerts via text message or email – immediately notifying growers if there are any performance issues.”
Donations from Roth, American Irrigation and other suppliers are funding the project. Researchers from Kansas State University are providing technical support and gathering data from the project.
“We are working on more products and different application methods for testing in the upcoming growing season,” Stillwell said. “This is an ongoing program that will continue into the coming years with diverse technologies being tested on more systems.”
In part two of our look at Kansas’ Water Technology Farms, we’ll explain how two types of LEPA Bubbler nozzles are working to make the system more efficient.