Irrigation management critical during drought

Glenn Schur says keeping crops adequately watered during “the hottest July in history” posed significant challenges, but with new technology and careful water management his cotton and millet crops “are doing well.”

At the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation field day, he said proper water management applies just as much in a dry year as it does in a more normal one, and that following an irrigation strategy will help maintain crop prospects. Farmers can develop a better plan than just “turn it on and let it rip,” he says.

New technology such as AquaSpy and Smart Crop gives farmers more information on which to base irrigation timing decisions, Schur says. “We have to learn to match planted acres with water availability — adjust acreage to water capacity.”

Schur also says Low Energy Precision Application irrigation systems are more efficient than typical spray irrigation. LEPA loses less water to evaporation, he says.