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Irrigation Stewardship Can Help Fight Droughts

By using water smartly growers can fight the effects of drought and water availability concerns.

With droughts seeming to happen more often, concerns about water availability for irrigation grow. And while you can’t control the weather, you can control how you use water.

“What it comes down to is we should have started doing the conservation efforts that we’re doing now, as far as water application goes, we should just start doing that 30 years ago,” says Josh Mosier, general manager and technical sales director of Komet Irrigation Corp., on the Sept. 7 episode of Seed Speaks. “The key to being able to move forward is to be able to use that water as efficiently as possible, not over watering, not adding extra water.”

Mosier says growers can use devices such as soil moisture probes to be able to monitor soil moisture amounts in order to water their crops as efficiently as possible. Clint Pickard, global field digital leader for seed operations at Corteva, adds irrigation application technologies can also help out — drip irrigation and drop nozzles on centre pivots can get water closer to the root zone.

“We have to do better as an industry to provide answers to growers on when and how much to water. And I think you do that by kind of looking at a supply and demand equation,” he says. “I think we can do a lot to boil it down and provide a simple insight for growers as the year unfolds and changes.”

Pickard explains if you can tell a grower how thirsty their corn crop is or how much water is needed to meet a yield target, from there the grower can sort out how much they need to water their crop.

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