ISSUE DATE: 03/25/2013
Jennifer M. Latzke
A farmer can carefully plan his fields. He can select his seed varieties, line up his crop protection inputs and even plan for labor and equipment outlays.
But all that doesn't matter if he doesn't manage his water.
And, if he is a farmer who happens to have irrigated fields in the High Plains region above the Ogallala Aquifer, he is probably looking at any way to become more efficient in using this valuable resource. An ongoing drought that stretches across the region has many farmers looking for alternative cotton production methods that will help them conserve the water they have available.
Bob Glodt, owner of Agri-Search, a crop consulting and contract research firm out of Plainview, Texas, said growers should start this path to increasing water use efficiency (WUE) by better understanding the needs of their cotton plants. Glodt also spoke at the Deltapine 2013 Weed Resistance and Water Management Summit in Lubbock, Texas, at the end of January. He challenged growers to start considering deficit irrigation, or strategic irrigation in combination with selecting varieties for their WUE characteristics as a way to make more cotton with the water they have available.
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