August 1, 2008
Efficient irrigation tools and techniques will be the spotlight of a one-day irrigation training Aug. 19 at Chillicothe.
The program will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the morning portion held at the First United Methodist Church, 301 S. Avenue J. It will offer both certified crop advisor and pesticide applicator continuing education credits.
The event is hosted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife’s Texas Water Resources Institute.
Only about 10 percent of Rolling Plains cropland is irrigated, but it accounts for a consistent portion of the agricultural income for the region, said Dr. John Sij, Texas AgriLife Research agronomist in Vernon, who is coordinating the event with Dr. Dana Porter, AgriLife Extension agricultural engineer in Lubbock.
Irrigation is found primarily in the southern portion of the Rolling Plains and into southwest Oklahoma, he said. “This workshop is part of a six-workshop series being conducted around the state,” Porter said. “With increasing commodity prices, we have seen a greater interest in irrigation in that part of the state.”
During the program, participants will hear about soil-moisture management, irrigation timing, applications of center-pivot and drip-irrigation technologies and updates on cost-share programs and water-issues legislation. The afternoon will include field tours on and around the AgriLife Research station south of Chillicothe, Sij said. The first stop will be at a center-pivot system, and concluding the day’s activities will be a stop at the Chillicothe station’s new sub-surface drip irrigation research. There participants will see cotton, sorghum, corn, sesame and four forage varieties growing under drip irrigation.
Industry personnel will be available at both locations to answer questions on the equipment and maintenance, he said.
Interested participants can register online at http://watereducation.tamu.edu or by calling Heather Easterling at 940-552-9941, ext 252. Pre-registration is not necessary, but will help sponsors plan for the free barbecue lunch.
The Chillicothe event is the second of six irrigation training program events being held around the state. Each event will offer region-specific information about irrigation practices, cropping systems and climates.
The first training was at Lubbock, with others scheduled at Mercedes in October, San Patricio County in November, Uvalde in November and Amarillo in January.
Other agencies involved in the statewide program are: Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Natural Resources Conservation Service. The project is funded by the Texas Water Development Board’s Agricultural Water Conservation Grant.
For more information about upcoming programs, contact Cecilia Wagner at [email protected] or 979-845-1851.
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