- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
"One of the things that we see with overhead systems and the sprinkler packages that we have attached to them is that they are highly efficient," said Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County, on the video. "They are highly efficient systems because they apply water uniformly. If we time this properly with proper irrigation scheduling techniques, we can reduce the amount of water applied."
Water, notes Monte Bottens, president of California Ag Solutions, is "the key to everything."
"If the water is not there and the water is not right, forget it," Bottens said.
West side farmer John Diener goes on to explain in the video that, in addition to delivering water uniformly, overhead irrigation, such as center pivots, gives farmers more flexibility with the land.
"All the tillage we did prior to having pivots was done primarily so we could run water from one end of the field to the other and put it on uniformly," Diener said. "With this practice, we have eliminated the need to have such great uniformity on the soil surface and, as such, we can do more non-tillage practices that allow us to store more carbon in the soil."
The University of California dedicates its first center pivot irrigation system at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center on Thursday. The dedication is part of the annual Twilight Conservation Agriculture field day, scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 13. Farmers and other members of the public are invited to the free event to see the system in operation and learn how overhead irrigation can be combined with no-till or minimum-till farming methods to create a more sustainable, profitable and environmentally sound agriculture industry. The field day includes a free barbecue dinner. For more information, see the field day announcement. To register, go to http://ucanr.edu/TwilightRegistration.