June 23, 2014
<p>Water levels are dropping in the Mississippi alluvial aquifer that lies underneath the Mississippi Delta. A task force is working to try to stabilize the aquifer through conservation and seeking other sources of water to irrigate the region's crops.</p>
With seemingly abundant water supplies like these provided by Arkansas’ Mammoth Springs (first photo), many can’t understand why anyone would have to irrigate in the five Delta states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Crop histories show, however, that at some point in almost every season, irrigation would pay dividends in the five-state region.
During a tour designed to educate an ag editor about the water issues confronting the Mississippi Delta, Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with Mississippi State University, discussed how the use of moisture sensors, flowmeters and surge valves are helping farmers grow the same, and sometimes more, crops with less water.
Krutz and several members of the Mississippi Sustainable Water Resources Task Force stopped at a field on the Tim Clements farming operation near Leland to demonstrate how new technology could one day help growers alter the current situation in which Delta farmers are removing more water from the alluvial aquifer than it is taking in.
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