Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Happy Irrigation Season!

Happy irrigation season for those of you who enjoy swimming more than farming. April 15 is the start of irrigation season! It may be raining and wet now but before you know it, you will need irrigation to keep your crops and pastures healthy.

This is the time of the year to check your irrigation system. Does it need repairs, modifications, or improvements? Are there leaks? Does it need to be set up or cleaned out? Is it turned off when it's raining? Do you have the proper frequency and duration for watering your pastures and crops?

Pastures may not need irrigation yet – check to be sure you are not watering unnecessarily. Look at your soil and don't start watering until your soil needs it. Evaluate soil moisture in your crops.

As the season progresses, keep a close eye on your perennial and tree crops. Both drought stress and excess water can cause root damage.

Below are resources to help you set up, evaluate and improve your irrigation system.

BMPs for Water Quality

Center for Irrigation Technology

California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)

NRCS Estimating Soil Moisture by Appearance and Feel

UC Drought Management

ATTRA Irrigation Efficiency

Resources for pasture irrigation:
Drought Tip: Managing Irrigated Pasture during Drought

Establishing and Managing Irrigated Pasture for Horses (and other pastured animals)

Management Options to Reduce Pollutants in Runoff from Irrigated Pastures

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM
  • Author: Aleta Barrett
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