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Corn+Soybean Digest

Irrigation becoming a trend on heavier soils

After 2013rsquos flash drought yields from Albrechtrsquos irrigated fields outyielded dryland fields by about 50 bushelsacre In 2014 Albrecht didnrsquot start irrigating until late July when the heavy summer rainfall spigot abruptly turned off and began stressing the crop
<p>After 2013&rsquo;s flash drought, yields from Albrecht&rsquo;s irrigated fields out-yielded dryland fields by about 50 bushels/acre. In 2014, Albrecht didn&rsquo;t start irrigating until late July, when the heavy summer rainfall spigot abruptly turned off and began stressing the crop.</p>
Think Different When Les Albrecht installed five irrigation circles on his Nebraska farm, he included several Internet-connected moisture probes to help him manage irrigation efficiently. &ldquo;Our approach is to apply water when it is needed, not just because we can,&rdquo; he says. The John Deere Field Connect probes monitor movement of moisture through a 6-foot soil profile. Real-time soil moisture status is available full-time to Albrecht and crop consultant Craig Marsh through any Internet-connected device. &ldquo;I really like the preciseness of this,&rdquo; Albrecht says. &ldquo;There was a point last fall when rigs to our west were running, but the probe said more moisture wasn&rsquo;t needed on our fields.&rdquo;

Following the worst drought in his farming career – and growing frustration over competition for land – Les Albrecht expanded his operation internally in 2013 by adding five circles of irrigation to his dryland operation.

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