A new project in partnership between the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the University of Georgia will develop innovative new tools to optimize irrigation water management for pecan production in southwest Georgia and provide outreach to pecan producers in the region.
Partners will work with growers in the Lower Flint-Ochlocknee Regional Water Council Area, which encompasses six of the top ten pecan producing counties in Georgia, to gather irrigation data, utilize data to develop irrigation scheduling tools, and make these tools available to all growers through outreach and education.
This project will build on existing region and crop-specific irrigation scheduling tools developed in partnership with the University of Georgia and the University of Florida. These tools are now available to growers for several crops as smart phone applications, giving growers tools to continue improving agricultural water use efficiency through innovation. Dr. Georgia Vasileios Liakos will lead the University of Georgia team developing similar tools for pecans.
Workshops and other outreach opportunities will allow partners to share this new pecan irrigation resource with growers, who will be able to optimize plant grower, crop yield and quality, as well as nutrient management.
“The Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District and our partners have a strong track record of improving agricultural irrigation efficiency through innovative tools, such as irrigation scheduling,” says Marty McLendon, chairman of the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation. “Georgia is the number one pecan producer in the nation, with the majority of pecan production right here in our District. This is a wonderful opportunity for southwest Georgia growers to continue to be leaders in smart irrigation practices.”
Funding for this work comes from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Water Plan Seed Grant Program and a cooperative agreement with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District is comprised of farmers, landowners, and community leaders that are dedicated to the conservation, wise use, and protection of natural resources in the Flint River Basin. Learn more about the District at flintriverswcd.org. To learn more about irrigation efficiency efforts in Georgia, visit smartirrigationgeorgia.com.