Connecting today's producers and crop consultants with the latest in irrigation technology and research is the focus of the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation's 4th Annual Water College on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at Lubbock's Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane.
"In our region of the country, regardless of what kind of agricultural commodity you are trying to produce, our primary limiting factor is water," says TAWC Project Director Rick Kellison at Lubbock. "We are dealing with an aquifer that is declining on an annual basis, so our goal with TAWC is to help producers to determine ways that they can use less water from the aquifer but remain economically viable."
Among the program highlights are an overview of Texas water law; utilizing variable rate irrigation technology in West Texas cotton; soil management for ideal water infiltration and improving corn water use with hybrid selection: trait evaluation for both dryland and limited irrigated systems.
Other presentations include upcoming weather patterns; update from Texas Water Development Board; from field to fabric - Wrangler’s commitment to healthy soils; profit potential using split pivot irrigation strategies in cotton production and the West Texas Mesonet – useful tools to aid producers. The event’s luncheon speaker is Wyman Meinzer, the official State Photographer of Texas and a graduate of Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (’74 Wildlife Management).
Registration for the TAWC Water College begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program starting at 8:50 a.m. The college is free of charge with lunch provided and CEU credits available. The program concludes at 5:00 p.m.
Local irrigation supply companies, farm equipment dealers, farm credit businesses and commodity groups will also have display booths and be available to answer questions and give details to participants.
Sponsors for the TAWC 'Water College’ include Bayer Crop Science, Cotton Inc., Diversity D Irrigation Services, DuPont Pioneer, and Texas Corn Producers.
Based at Texas Tech and funded by a grant from the Texas Water Development Board, TAWC is a partnership of producers, technology firms, universities and government agencies working to extend the life of the largest subterranean aquifer in the United States. Stretching from the Texas panhandle in the south to the northern boundary of Nebraska, the Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath one of the most important agricultural regions in the U.S.
The TAWC project uses on-farm demonstrations of cropping and livestock systems to compare the production practices, technologies, and systems that can maintain individual farm profitability while improving water use efficiency with a goal of extending the life of the Ogallala Aquifer while maintaining the viability of local farms and communities.
All production-related decisions are made by the more than 20 producers involved in the project. The project field sites involve more than 6,000 acres in Castro, Crosby, Deaf Smith, Floyd, Hale, Lamb, Lubbock, Parmer and Swisher counties. These sites represent the range of agricultural practices including monoculture cropping systems; crop rotations; no-till, limited-till and conventional tillage practices; land application of manure; and fully integrated crop and livestock systems.