UCCE Sonoma County
University of California
UCCE Sonoma County

Posts Tagged: irrigation

Overhead irrigation holds water-saving potential for California farms

In California, 40 percent of agriculture is still irrigated by pouring water onto farmland, a much less efficient practice that drip and overhead irrigation. But those numbers are changing, reported Matt Weiser on Water Deeply

Weiser interviewed UC Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist Jeff Mitchell about the water-saving potential of using overhead irrigation, a system that is popular in other parts of the nation and world, but only used on 2 percent of California farmland. Mitchell was the primary author of a research article in the current issue of California Agriculture journal, which said that water and money can be saved using overhead irrigation in production of wheat, corn, cotton, onion and broccoli.

Mitchell said California researchers are looking more closely at overhead irrigation because they anticipate future constraints on agriculture, including water and labor shortages. Additionally, the system is ideal for combining with conservation agriculture systems, which include the use of cover crops, leaving crop residue on the soil surface and reducing tillage disturbance of the soil. The combination of overhead irrigation and conservation agriculture practices reduces water use, cuts back on dust emissions, increases yield and improves the soil.

Weisner asked how overhead irrigation could be as efficient as drip, when people typically see "water spraying everywhere from these roving sprinklers high off the ground."

Mitchell said farmers use pressure regulators and a variety of nozzles on hoses hanging down from the system to deliver water at precisely the rate and location where it is needed through the season.

"So, they're not spraying water. These are low to the ground, and there are various delivery nozzle practices that can be used," Mitchell said.

Overhead irrigation application methods and locations of application devices change as the plant grows. (Photo: California Agriculture journal)
 
News coverage of the overhead irrigation research published in the current issue of California Agriculture journal also appeared in:
 
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Russell Ranch field day at UC Davis is June 8

A researcher speaks at the 2015 Russell Field Day. (Photo: Agricultural Sustainability Institute)
The Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility, located near the UC Davis campus, will be holding its annual field day June 8 on the theme of "Farm Water Management in Times of Scarcity." Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Presenters will explore research, farmers' practices, and commercial products that aim to make California agriculture more resilient in the face of drought, weather extremes, and uncertain water allocations. Presentations from researchers in the morning will be followed by lunch and a panel discussion with area growers.

The field day is free for farmers, $5 for students, and $10 for the general public.

Russell Ranch is a unique 300-acre facility dedicated to investigating irrigated and dry-land agriculture in a Mediterranean climate. The ranch is run like a commercial farm and features a variety of research activities by UC faculty and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers, with the aim of informing California agricultural practices. Russell Ranch is home to the flagship 100-year Century Experiment, an ongoing mega-experiment focusing on sustainable agricultural practices in California.

Since 1994, Russell Ranch has hosted an annual field day to share research findings related to pressing topics in California agriculture. This year's event will focus on a common challenge of farm fields across California: how to ensure healthy crops when the availability of key resources is uncertain.

The field day includes tours of Russell Ranch, in-field presentations, panel discussions with growers, and a poster session to learn about the variety of research and outreach on the topic of water management and scarcity.

The schedule of events is as follows:

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Presentations from researchers

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Lunch; view research posters and exhibitions from vendors of commercial irrigation products

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. Farmer panel discussion: Water Management on Farm: Challenges and Opportunities

The field day features presentations from:

Olivier Jerphagnon, PowWow Energy, Inc.
Stan Knutson, PowWow Energy, Inc.
Teresa Carillo-Cobo, Agricultural Sustainability Institute post-doctoral scholar
Amelie Gaudin, Assistant professor, Dept. of Plant Sciences at UC Davis
Martin Burger, Associate Project Scientist, Dept. of Land, Air, and Water Resources at UC Davis

Mark Lundy, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Dept. of Plant Sciences at UC Davis
Dan Putnam, Cooperative Extension Specialist, Dept. of Plant Sciences at UC Davis
Daniele Zaccaria, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Dept. of Land, Air, and Water Resources at UC Davis
Tim Hartz, Cooperative Extension Specialist/Agronomist, Dept. of Plant Sciences at UC Davis
Toby O'Geen, Cooperative Extension Soil Resources Specialist, Dept. of Land, Air, and Water Resources at UC Davis

Graham Fogg, Professor of Hydrogeology, Dept. of Land, Air, and Water Resources at UC Davis
Darren Drewry, Research Scientist, Climate Physics Group, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Russell Ranch's Annual Field Day
Farm Water Management in Times of Scarcity
June 8, 2016, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Register at: https://registration.ucdavis.edu/Item/Details/246

Tickets

Farmers: free
Students: $5
General: $10

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 5:54 AM
  • Author: Mariah Coley, mlcoley@ucdavis.edu
  • Author: Laura Crothers, lrcrothers@ucdavis.edu
Tags: drought (202), irrigation (27), Russell Ranch (6)

Second video in series helps Californians conserve more water

It's best to irrigate early in the morning. (Photo: Ricardo Bernardo)
Californians cut water use in July by 31.3 percent compared to the same month in 2013, exceeding Gov. Brown's 25 percent mandate for the second consecutive month, the California State Water Control Board reported last week.

With dry conditions forecast to continue through November, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources developed a series of videos with tips for enhancing conservation efforts in outdoor landscapes. The second video in the series, which debuts today, advises homeowners to limit outdoor irrigation to the early morning hours.

In the morning, says host Missy Gable, director of the UC Master Gardener Program, “you're not competing with sun or wind, both of which can cause water to evaporate from the soil.”

An obstacle to changing irrigation times for some Californians is a lack of familiarity with their own irrigation systems. The California Garden Web is an informative service of the UC Master Gardener Program that can help users understand the basics of irrigation controllers and irrigation system adjustment.

The website provides a link where residents can find their irrigation controller manuals online. A landscape irrigation worksheet developed by UC ANR researchers can be downloaded to finesse irrigation intervals and timing.

Much more gardening information can be found on the California Garden Web, which serves as a portal to organize and share UC ANR's vast collection of research-based information about gardening.

Following is the second video in the new series on water conservation in landscapes:

View the first video in the series, with advise on prioritizing plants when irrigation water is short.

An initiative to improve California water quality, quantity and security is part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision 2025.

Author: Jeannette Warnert

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 10:33 AM
Tags: drought (202), irrigation (27), Missy Gable (14)

Reduced Irrigation Observations

DSC01601

On April 1, 2015 Governor Brown mandated a 25% water reduction in urban water use.  While you may have seen the news articles about some private citizens or even some public areas being irrigated like water is an unlimited resource, my observation is that most homes and public areas are in...

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015 at 8:30 AM
Tags: irrigation (27), lawns (5), parks (2), schools (4), weeds (65)

Flood irrigation may help recharge aquifers

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources experts are studying the effectiveness of flood irrigation to help recharge underground aquifers that have been depleted due to the drought, reported Ken Carlson in the Modesto Bee.

The pilot research project will involve flood irrigating almond orchards during the winter months, according to Roger Duncan, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor in Stanislaus County.

"If it works well, we can expand and potentially look at other locations, other soil types and other cropping systems," Duncan said.

The Modesto trial will take place on one orchard with 10 to 15 acres of fairly sandy soil with groundwater from another area.

According to the article, commercial almond orchards are not usually irrigated in winter because there's enough rainfall to keep the ground moist. Flood irrigation in almonds has of late been regarded as a wasteful practice from the era of cheap and plentiful water; many farmers have turned to micro sprinklers and drip irrigation for water conservation. But orchard flooding could bounce back as a strategic tool as local jurisdictions try to manage their groundwater levels.

Many almond orchards are irrigated with water-conserving drip irrigation. A new study will look at flood irrigation in winter to recharge the underground aquifer. (Photo: Maxwell Norton)
Posted on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 10:39 AM
Tags: drip (1), flood irrigation (1), irrigation (27), Roger Duncan (16)

First storyPrevious 5 stories  |  Next 5 stories | Last story

 
E-mail
 

University of California Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
133 Aviation Blvd Suite 109, Santa Rosa, CA 95403  Phone: 707.565.2621  Fax: 707.565.2623
Office Hours:  M-F, 8am-Noon & 1pm-4pm

Like us on Facebook: UCCE Sonoma                        Follow us on Twitter @UCCESonoma 

Webmaster Email: klgiov@ucanr.edu