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ISSUE DATE: 07/07/2014

Can drip irrigation keep the prairie profitable

By Larry Dreiling

The use of flood and center pivot irrigation of crops via the waters of the Ogallala Aquifer is as hot a discussion topic as the current drought.

To many who mine the aquifer to make a living, trying to keep a profitable way of life sustainable in a time when the broader public is seeking more conservation of resources yet wanting inexpensive, plentiful and safe food is problematic.

Perhaps it’s wise to keep in mind the words of 2012 World Food Prize Laureate Daniel Hillel.

“What undermines civilizations very often is mismanagement of land, water, crops and agriculture; the very basis of subsistence, the very basis of life,” Hillel said at his laureate lecture. “Infrequent, periodic flood irrigation over the centuries has proven not to be sustainable.”

Perhaps his most telling words were these: “We have been sinful in our use of the soil and of life. We can either play a negative role or a positive one in the use of our resources depending how we manage them.”

Hillel became considered the father of drip irrigation, bringing life to the Negev Desert.

“The theory of infrequent irrigation—that is, come back every two or three weeks when moisture is depleted—was at one time the standard theory,” Hillel said. “Equal availability of wilting point and field capacity.”


NEWS

Cattleman urges EPA to withdraw interpretive rule
Missouri legislation introduced to protect producer information
Retired NMSU Extension director Dictson named to NMACAA Hall of Fame
Rural Mainstreet Index weakens in June
Stopping moles from leaving holes
USDA reminds producers of 2014 acreage reporting requirement
Using tree tannins to target manure odor

CROPS

2014 World Food Prize Honors critical breakthroughs in wheat
AFA selects scholarship recipients
Ag tech fair shows new monitoring tools at MU Bradford Research Center
Brazil showing promise for U.S. wheat interests
Can drip irrigation keep the prairie profitable?
Canola offers benefits for wheat producers when included in rotation
Emma: Yes, Momma Misener did that!
Farmers face damage after floods, some may replant
First participants in Conservation Stewardship Program can renew for 5 more years
Fresh fruits, vegetables pack lots of nutrition per calorie
Hoffman Harvesting: Take the bad with the good
Kansas Farm Bureau invites public to Ag Hall of Fame for meeting, field demonstration on crop estima
Kansas Soybean Commission schedules Aug. 14 meeting
Kansas teacher attends National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
Megan Roland: Have a little faith
Ohio State expert: Rootless corn can recover
Osowski: Then came the rain
Sustainable agriculture untangled: NMSU experts answer most-asked questions
Tucker & Sons build quality farm and ranch products
U.S. Wheat leaders hear updates on biotechnology topics
USDA provides $8M to help declining honey bee population
USDA reminds producers of 2014 acreage reporting requirement
Workshops help producers with soil health management practices
Z Crew: Rain, rain go away

LIVESTOCK

All-metal feed bunks featured
America's Horse in Art
AMS tightens animal stunning rules
Annual report recaps demand building programs
Beef 706 program offered in Texas
Brahman board to meet Nov. 12-16
Cattle feeder offers Floridians recipe for success
Cattlewomen host Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest
CB Farms Family Partnership named BIF Commercial Producer of the Year
CDA reports 6 positive trich locations
Experts share tips for dairy producers at Heat Stress Road Show
Fence building, cattle working demonstrations to be featured at Beef Cattle Short Course
Higher beef prices prompting some producers to consider expanding
Hog and pig numbers released
Hong Kong market reopens for U.S. beef
Iowa Beef Producers investigate beef market in China
Iowa State alumnus new manager of animal science farms
Kansas Limousin breeders celebrate 40 years
KLA files comments on EPA interpretive rule
KLA offering reward in case of equipment stolen
K-State ag journalism students intern with CAB
Manure Expo adds PEDv panel
MCA 32nd annual junior cattle show concludes
Meat goat workshop slated July 12 in Weslaco
Missouri Cattlemen's Association takes action on timely issues
Missouri Dairy Association: State farm bills about more than deer
Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation recognizes retail value steer challenge winners, scholarship recipient
Nordhausen to serve as Angus regional manager for Nebraska, Colorado
One getaway steer only slight setback for top Kansas college rodeo cowboy
PEDv affects pork industry financially, emotionally
Plan fall marketing strategy in early summer
Plan to attend Hereford Genetic Summit
Pork industry poised to meet growing demand
Recognizing common bovine hoof diseases
Researchers study new class of animal deworming agent
Schuler Red Angus awarded BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year
Symposium to focus on innovation in cow-calf production systems
Taste, nutrition spurring record bison demand
Triple C offers wireless remote valve control

EDITOR

Candid candidates
Kansas Ag Alliance opposes new EPA proposed rule
Roberts working to stop EPA rule, invites comments
The old red barn
The voice of agriculture

COLUMNS

App helps farmers keep tabs on records
Independence Day 2014 enlightenment
Leasing options expanded with entity
Let freedom boom
The Gold Rush: Greed vs. social responsibility
What a difference a month makes

MARKETS

Amarillo livestock auction summary
Amarillo livestock auction summary
Apache livestock auction report
Arkansas livestock auction summary
Cool temps, widespread rain dominate South Dakota
Corn crop progressing Missouri
Crop conditions decline with excess water Minnesota
Dodge City livestock auction report
Grain market close
Grains close with sharp losses
Hay trade mixed
Hay trade, movement slow to moderate
High Plains slaughter cattle sales report
Joplin livestock auction report
Lexington livestock market report
Most of state sees widespread rainfall Texas
Newell sheep sales report
North Arkansas livestock auction report
Pratt livestock auction report
Rain, cooler temps help crops, pastures Nebraska
Rains halt fieldwork Iowa
Rains limit fieldwork Iowa
Tulsa livestock sales report
Widespread rainfall limits harvest Kansas
Widespread rains hit state South Dakota
Winter wheat harvest near completion Oklahoma

RANGE

Consider using patch-burning method to promote more sustainable grazing lands
Get 10% or more increase in yield on irrigated corn, clover in pastures, and hay yields with Sea Min
Native warm-season grasses can offset the 'summer slump'
Predicted El Nino improves winter pasture prospects this fall
Toxic fungus appears in Missouri pastures

FAMILY

Dealing with problems
Kansas Farm Bureau makes FFA chapter grants
Lesser prairie-chicken ruling still ruffles feathers
Meditation
Mesalands Rodeo Team competes at the 2014 CNFR
OSU Extension offers photography workshop for teens
Quail may be making a comeback in Oklahoma
Southwestern-styled Santa Fe has plenty of space
Take precautions when spicing your foods
That's a wrap! Harvest meals, part 2

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