Leon New, Texas Agricultural Extension Service agricultural engineer and irrigation specialist, was recently honored by the Texas Corn Producers Board (TCPB).

"The Texas Corn Producers Board has a long-standing working relationship with Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers and Texas Agricultural Extension Service specialists," said David Gibson, TCPB executive director. "These scientists and specialists have helped identify issues and problems affecting corn producers, and have worked toward solutions through their applied research and educational programs.

"They are also instrumental in communicating the benefits of commodity check-off programs through the media and other outlets. We developed this award to recognize individuals who conduct outstanding research, or programs that directly address the needs of Texas corn producers. This year we chose to recognize Leon New for his exceptional efforts in water conservation," Gibson said.

New, headquartered in Amarillo, serves the Panhandle, South Plains and portions of the Rolling Plains as an Extension ag engineer. He is known nationwide for his work in irrigation technology.

He has conducted pumping plant efficiency tests on more than 1,300 wells in west Texas, and then developed irrigation cost bases with this data. New also helped growers evaluate tail water runoff, surge irrigation and improved management practices for furrow irrigation. He was instrumental in developing the Potential Evapo-Transpiration (PET) network on the north plains; the development and adoption of Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) systems for center pivots; and chemigation.

New is a pioneer of drip irrigation for orchard, vineyard and other west Texas crops. He has presented irrigation technology information and programs to more than 1,000 audiences of growers and commercial, manufacturing, government and professional persons. He has written more than 70 journal and news media articles and other publications.

Other recognition of his achievements include: two Superior Service awards and the Deputy Chancellor's Award for Extension Education, from Texas A&M University; the High Plains Growers and Agribusiness Award; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Superior Service Award. He is a former Irrigation Association Person of the Year, and a past inductee of the Agricultural Consultants Hall of Fame.

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