ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

091 Irrigation Water Management Specialist - KARE

Proposed Location/Housing

Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Proposed Area of Coverage

Statewide

Contacts

Associated Documents

Comments

6 Comments

1
Irrigation management is a very important issue today and is going to be even more so in the future. New and improved irrigation systems will have to be part of the production system in the future. This position will be critical to address this important issue. I urge you to fill this position.
Posted Jul 10, 2014 3:06 PM by Gary Obenauf
2
We have a critical need for expertise in irrigation management, especially with the recent retirements of Specialists Hanson, Prichard and Schwankl. The need for applied research and information related to water management is only going to grow in the future and UC is well-positioned to fulfill this need with a new Specialist. This position would be a great resource for UC advisors and for California agriculture.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 2:44 PM by Brenna Aegerter
3
On behalf of the Dairy Quality Assurance Workgroup the following comments are provided:
The workgroup identifies the Irrigation Water Management Specialist as a high priority position. ANR has HUGE holes in the area of irrigation water management. This is California! We desperately need individuals with expert knowledge of soil–plant–water relations, irrigation systems, irrigation water management, and soil salinity management. These are our issues. An individual in this position would help provide leadership to the Tulare, Fresno, Kings Agronomy Advisor, Merced, Madera, Stanislaus Forage and Waste Water Reuse Advisor as well as the Tulare Area Water Management Advisor. ANR will need to fill these critical positions to both provide breadth and depth of technical and scientific information as well as boots on the ground research under extreme California conditions. The Irrigation Water Management Specialist is critical for the future success of the California Dairy industry. California dairy cows produce more than 20% of the US milk supply. The largest concentration of dairies (number of facilities and number of cows) is in the San Joaquin Valley. Home grown forage is a key ingredient in cattle diets both to control costs associated with feed production (maintain economic viability of the industry) and to manage nutrients on farm (repurpose nutrients). Key to dairies in the Central Valley is compliance with Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Waste Discharge Requirements for Existing Milk Cow dairies. Dairy operators are obligated to not exceed nitrogen application of 1.4 times nitrogen removed on farm land where manure is applied. Key to this process is determining nitrogen mineralization rates and disseminating information to dairy producers. Equally important is irrigation water management to improve efficiency and distribution uniformity to keep plant available nutrients in the root zone while conserving valuable water resources. Confounding the need to use water efficiently is the need to manage salts and recharge groundwater resources. An Irrigation Management Specialist will fill a large void in our ANR system. The individual will have a natural, logical connection to the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program’s Environmental Stewardship module. The individual will work with existing forage advisors and specialists to expand ANR visibility and impact. Drought and climate change will alter the landscape of the San Joaquin Valley. As long as agriculture is present, a vibrant dairy industry is needed so cattle may consume by-products (almond hulls, cottonseed meal, distillers grains, wheat bran, cull produce, cull fruit, citrus pulp, etc.) thereby improving profitability of many farming operations by selling waste as feed. Absent the cows, these waste streams may yield reduced revenue or worst case scenario may require costs for disposal.

Thank you for considering this very critical position. We are confident it will rank high in prioritization when your task is complete!
Posted Jul 19, 2014 2:46 PM by Deanne Meyer
4
Water availability for irrigation is the biggest challenge facing agriculture in California. Research that will help growers apply the adequate water necessary to sustain crop yield, quality and vine health is critical in ensuring a sustainable and profitable table grape industry. While deficit irrigation has been routinely used as a strategy to conserve water and sustain production in wine grapes, it has not been adequately tested in table grapes. It has been documented that irrigation influences table grape yield and quality.

The California Table Grape Commission strongly supports creation of the new Cooperative Extension Irrigation Water Management Specialist position. The water-related research such as irrigation system management, irrigation water management, plant-water-relations and salinity will help advance the sustainability of table grape production. The commission would hope to work with the new specialist and support research aimed at addressing table grape industry needs in this critically important area.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 2:20 PM by Franka Gabler, Viticulture Research Director, California Table Grape Commission
5
The California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) supports the Irrigation Water Management Specialist as a high priority position. Recent retirements within UC-ANR have left HUGE holes in the area of irrigation water management. This position would complement the two proposed agronomy advisor positions as well as multiple other existing crop-specific positions and aid in providing critical mass and vital impact in the San Joaquin Valley in the much needed subject matter of irrigation water management. California is often called the “bread basket” of the nation. The California dairy industry produces more than 20% of the US milk supply and is a critical component to the state’s economy. The bulk of the state’s dairy operations are located in the San Joaquin Valley and are regulated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Waste Discharge Requirements for Existing Milk Cow Dairies. Their ability to grow forage is key to their ability to maintain affordable feed rations as well as implement nutrient management plans to comply with regulations. Dairies in the Central Valley are under some of the strictest water and air quality regulations in the nation. As a base funder of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, CDRF has been partnering with the University of California Cooperative Extension in supporting dairy producers in ongoing environmental stewardship improvement and compliance through its wide-spread education program and understands the dire need for additional expertise in this area. Since 2007, dairy operators in the Central Valley have been required to hit a 1.4 nitrogen ratio on a per crop, per field basis as part of their nutrient management plans. Much of the dairy operation’s nutrients are applied via “fertigation” or through the irrigation system. Base critical to the dairy producer’s ability to grow crops for feed and apply nutrients at appropriate rates, is the ability to manage their irrigation water. It is a complicated area- aspects such as improved irrigation efficiency, distribution uniformity and conservation all play a role in responsible water and nutrient application. A specialist on irrigation water management to conduct applied research and participate as part of the education is key to the dairy industry’s future success. This is the single largest critical issue to the longevity of the dairy industry. Such a position would be a welcome addition to the team working within the CDQAP.
Thank you.
Gonca Pasin, RD, PhD
Executive Director
California Dairy Research Foundation
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:12 PM by Gonca Pasin, RD, PhD
6
General comment on 2014 ANR call for water positions

043 Area Water Management Advisor (UCCE Tulare Co., ANR)
091 Irrigation Water Management Specialist (KARE, ANR)
103 Plant Water Relations Specialist (KARE, UC Riverside)
114 Soil-plant-water relations and Irrigation Management Specialist (LAWR, UC Davis)
090 Irrigation Engineer Specialist (LAWR, UC Davis)
088 Ground Water Quality Specialist (LAWR, UC Davis)

The California Tree Nut & Extension Planning Group, representing the almond, pistachio and walnut industries support the continued and increased presence of ANR in the area of water and irrigation management. Surface and ground water quantity and quality issues and more precision in irrigation are critical now and certainly will be more so in the future. This is submitted to encourage ANR, UC Davis and UC Riverside to coordinate water positions with the following comments for consideration.

Positions 043, 091,103, 114, and 090 – With the retirements of Dave Goldhamer, Terry Prichard and Larry Schwankl, there is a critical need to fill water and irrigation management positions to at least address these vacancies. But beyond just replacing the “status quo”, there is even a wider array of skill sets and coordination needed to respond to the challenges. In coordinating positions, a number of important principles should be considered. These include: 1) There needs to be complimentary skillsets and expertise across the plant, soil, water continuum in concert with system engineering/precision agriculture; 2) There needs to be coordination across both the skillsets and UC entities involved; and 3) Geographic placement and engagement with stakeholders will be important – for instance, given the acuity of surface and groundwater problems in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, there should be a presence at KARE.

Position 088 – Certainly groundwater quality issues are and will continue to be critical. In reading this position proposal, we are unclear on: 1) How much would this position duplicate the expertise already at UCD; and 2) How much will this position be policy/regulatory oriented vs. hands-on problem solving - in our view, problem solving has a higher priority than policy/regulatory. With the current Irrigated Land Regulatory Program there is a requirement to the grower coalitions to research which management practices reduce the potential for crop inputs, in particular nitrogen, to leach into ground water. The regulators are also trying to figure out how to limit salt leaching, which is critical to maintaining the health of the agronomic soils. Thus there is a need for the practical problem solving aspect as to how best to minimize leaching within the current Central Valley agronomic systems.

Posted Jul 21, 2014 5:49 PM by Bob Curtis

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