Agricultural irrigators in the district will soon have more funds available to assist with the purchase of certain irrigation efficiency equipment, including soil moisture probes, pivot monitoring and control systems, telemetry and on-farm weather stations. The program is made possible by $300,000 in grants from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) as part of the Agricultural Conservation Grant Program.
The program requires irrigating producers to participate in at least one of the district’s educational programs or activities to be eligible for cost share. Qualifying programs include the Master Irrigator intensive irrigation conservation training, the “3-4-5 GPM Project” or its associated field days, and other approved irrigation related events the district may present in the future.
“The Irrigation Efficiency Initiative is an extension and complement to the Master Irrigator Program as it will allow the district to continue to move from demonstrating irrigation conservation, to facilitating understanding and ultimately encouraging adoption,” said Steve Walthour, General Manager, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District.
One of the major obstacles to wider adoption of these proven conservation technologies and practices is the learning curve to successful implementation. Without the understanding of how to maximize the function of a piece of equipment or a practice, the optimum results may not be achieved, leading to a reduction in potential adoption. “The idea of the Irrigation Efficiency Initiative and the Master Irrigator Program is to provide the information and support necessary to ensure the producer’s success and, therefore, increase adoption,” said Walthour.
The cost share program will cover up to half of the cost of the selected technology or practice. The program is expected to be operational with funds available in time for the 2018 growing season.
Hear more from Walthour and Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District regarding the recently acquired TWDB grants by listening to this MP3 from KGNC-AM from July 31, 2017:
Other recordings can be accessed on KGNC-AM’s website at http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/.