Water is one of the universal necessities for life. And that includes the lives of crops and producers. No one understands that better perhaps than the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation, a group that has made it their mission to conserve water for future generations. And by hosting local field walks throughout the growing season like this one on Eddie Teeter's farm south of Lockney, the TAWC is getting producers talking and learning something new.
"Texas Alliance for Water Conservation has really taken the lead in trying to educate growers on water use, more efficient water use," Bob Glodt said. "The more you know and the more you learn about water use, the better manager you become and that always correlates to increased yields and better production."
Bob Glodt is an independent crop consultant and researcher and has been in the area since the 1980's. He said that the water situation has certainly changed over the last 30 years, but one fact remains true; good management practices pay off in the end.
"No matter how little water you have or how much water you have, it always pays you to do a good job managing your water," Glodt said. "It's never too late to learn, okay. You can always learn something new. One inch of water that's saved or put on at the right time is equivalent to about 60-110 pounds of lent."
Dan Krieg, a Lubbock County producer and crop consultant, spoke with producers along with Glodt. The agenda here was to look at and compare crop conditions under different water irrigation practices. Krieg said that there are tools now available that are completely wireless that can help producers know when and how much to water.
"We're looking at a corn pivot right out here that's got a center pivot on it, and then a drip field. Then there's a cotton field that Eddie's got that's on drip with a different spy or water sensor in it. The two pivots have the John Deere sensors that measure soil water," Krieg said.
The take home message was that water management is not only necessary, but can save producers money and increase productivity. Educating yourself on the most ground breaking practices will only help your bottom line.
"We have limited water resources, we have regulations as to what we can use, and we need to be more conscious of what we're putting on, and more importantly the timing relative to crop," Krieg said.
The Texas Alliance for Water Conservation is hosting several other field walks later in the summer. They also offer a user-friendly website with additional resources for water management and conservation at www.tawcsolutions.com .