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Tool Helps Soybean Growers Improve Irrigation Efficiency

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A tool developed by researchers at the University of Nebraska Lincoln is helping soybean growers determine how much water their fields need and when it needs it – eliminating unnecessary irrigation events. 

UNL Professor Emeritus Jim Specht spearheaded the development of SoyWater an easy-to-use online tool that processes information about soil, precipitation and soybean variety to provide growers with recommendations for the timing and amount of water applications.

An acre-inch of water applied is equivalent to 27,154 gallons of water. So, eliminating just one unnecessary one-inch irrigation event could save you more than five million gallons of water on a 200-acre pivot. 

“The less water you can use to get the same yields, the more profit in the bank,” Specht said in an article that ran in the Midwest Ag Journal. “You maximize yields and get more bang for your irrigation buck.”

SoyWater can also assist with pest control and disease management –helping growers precisely apply pesticide or fungicide at the soybean stage that researchers recommend.