Advances in irrigation management will be the focus of a new lecture series being offered this spring at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The lectures make up the university’s annual spring semester water and natural resources seminar organized by the School of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Water Center.
“Evolving and advancing irrigation management practices are at the very core of Nebraska’s powerful and productive agricultural economy. It is safe to say that without development of the irrigation technologies and management we have today, our state economy would be far different than it is,” said Chittaranjan Ray, director of the Nebraska Water Center. “Irrigation is not without risk, responsibility and a clear focus on the future.”
The series opens with a 3:30 p.m. Jan. 17 talk by Cody Bailey of Reinke Manufacturing. The talk, "A Unique View of an Advanced Center Pivot Irrigation System," is in the Hardin Hall Auditorium.
Subsequent lectures, held roughly every-other-Wednesday afternoon through April 18, will look at advances in the irrigation equipment, science and management practices. Each talk is 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Hardin Hall Auditorium.
According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, there were just under 2.2 million acres of crop and pastureland under irrigation in 1964. Fifty years later, in 2014, that number had increased to just under 8.3 million acres, representing just under half of the total cropland harvested in the state.
Xin Qiao, a water and irrigation management specialist at Nebraska’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, closes the seminar on April 18 with a talk on “Irrigation Management in Western Nebraska and Future Opportunities.”
In addition to being offered free to the public, the seminar can be taken for student credit through the School of Natural Resources.
Individual lecture videos and speaker PowerPoint presentation will be posted online.
Lectures in the seminar series are:
- Jan. 17 — Cody Bailey, Reinke Manufacturing, “A Unique View of an Advanced Center Pivot Irrigation System”
- Jan. 31 — Williams Memorial Lecture, Ken Quandt, McCrometer Corporation, “McCrometer Flow Connect: Building on Irrigation Flow Meter Fundamentals”
- Feb. 14 — Trenton Franz, hydrogeophysicist, School of Natural Resources, “Spatiotemporal Prediction of Soil Properties and States in Variably Saturated Landscapes”
- Feb. 28 — Daran Rudnick, assistant professor, biological systems engineering, “Performance of Tools and Technologies for Scheduling Irrigation and Fertigation in Western Nebraska”
- March 14 — Kremer Memorial Lecture, Kurtis Charling, Lindsay Corporation, “Using Proven Science, Research, and Big Data to Simplify and Optimize Irrigation Management”
- April 4 — Derek Heeren, assistant professor, biological systems engineering, “Variable Rate Irrigation: Potential Benefits, Limitations, and Management Practices”
- April 18 — Xin Qiao, assistant professor, biological systems engineering, “Irrigation Management in Western Nebraska and Future Opportunities”