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Colorado water-related programs offer options

The deadline nears for chemigation permits; AgDRIP program offers irrigators options for groundwater management.

March 20, 2019

3 Min Read
irrigation in green field
MANAGING WATER: Colorado State University reminds irrigators about the use of AgDRIP to gather groundwater use information. Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Agriculture notes the deadline for chemigation permits is coming soon.YuraWhite/Getty Images

Recently, Colorado officials issued two irrigation-related announcements. One deals with the AgDRIP Program, which is seeking participants for 2019. The other, from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, concerns the need for irrigators to get their chemigation permits by March 31.

Program offers groundwater info

The Agricultural Data Reporting and Incentives Program (AgDRIP) helps gathers information about irrigation and groundwater use. The program was so successful in 2018 that researchers at Colorado State University are again recruiting paid participants for the program.

The voluntary program asks producers to report monthly meter readings from individual irrigation wells using the AgDRIP smartphone application or website. High-capacity wells in the Plains and W-Y groundwater management districts are eligible to enroll in the program. There is also a financial incentive to participate, through a USDA program.

Colorado participants in 2018 reported that the smartphone application was easy to use and provides a useful record of water use over the course of the growing season. According to the university, water use and crop yield information collected helps build a better understanding of how differences in seasonal water use influence crop production. Now, well-specific groundwater information collected in the program is shared with state or federal authorities.

Owners of irrigated land have received additional details through an invitation, but you can learn more at agdrip.org for more information.

Chemigation permit deadline

The Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds the public that irrigators using a closed system to apply agricultural chemicals, including fertilizer, need a permit. The deadline for renewals is March 31. The permit program is designed to protect water resources.

In a press statement, Don Gallegos, CDA chemigation coordinator, noted that the department issues about 4,300 chemigation permits annually. “I encourage people to call if they need to renew their license or are trying to decide if they need a permit.”

The chemigation program is part of CDA’s Conservation Services Division. It grants permits and inspects closed irrigation systems — such as center-pivot irrigation — to protect aquifers and surface water. CDA defines a closed system as any device or combination of devices having a hose, pipe or other conduit that connects directly to any source of groundwater or surface water. In such a system, water or a mix of water and chemicals are drawn and applied for agricultural or horticultural purposes.

Those using a closed system must obtain a permit, which costs $45 per system if acquired by March 31. After that date, the late fee and permit will raise the cost to $90 per system. Those applying for a first-time permit can apply throughout the year. A fine up to $1,000 per occurrence may be levied for those using this process without a permit. You can learn more at the CDA chemigation webpage.

Source: Colorado State University, Colorado Department of Agriculture. The sources are solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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