Irrigation workshops to be held in December

Farm Forum

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding irrigation workshops Dec. 4 in Bismarck and Dec. 11 in Williston.

“On the right soils, irrigation can make a big difference in crop yields,” says Tom Scherer, NDSU Extension water quality and irrigation specialist. “Irrigation provides consistent crop production on a year-to-year basis; allows longer-season crops such as corn, potatoes and soybeans to be grown on droughty soils; provides a consistent supply of forage for animal operations; and diversifies the farm enterprise.

“In many parts of North Dakota, the lack of an adequate source of good-quality water of sufficient quantity limits irrigation development,” he adds. “At these workshops, there will be presentations on some nontraditional ideas concerning irrigation development.”

The workshop on Thursday, Dec. 4, is in the Grand Pacific Room at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. It will be held in conjunction with the North Dakota Water Users Association convention. The NDSU Extension Service and North Dakota Irrigation Association sponsor the workshop. An irrigation exposition where suppliers display their products and services will be held in conjunction with the convention.

Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and workshop presentations begin at 8:30 a.m.

During the morning session, the presentations will be on the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s irrigation program, an introduction to the Missouri River Stakeholders Group, subirrigation with tile, horizontal wells, irrigation economics and the economic impact of irrigation development along the McClusky Canal.

The highlight of the afternoon session will be a presentation on using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for crop production. The other afternoon sessions will include updates on irrigation research at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center and the Nesson Valley irrigation research site. These will be followed by presentations dealing with variable-rate irrigation and using groundwater models for water appropriation.

The registration fee of $20 is payable at the door and includes lunch.

The workshop on Thursday, Dec. 11, is in the Ernie French building at the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center just west of Williston on U.S. Highway 2. Presentations will include diseases in broadleaf crops, appropriate nitrogen application for corn production, weed resistance management and a Nesson Valley irrigation research update.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. Attendance is free of charge. Lunch will be provided. The Mountrail/Williams Electric Cooperative and Agri-Industries are sponsoring the lunch.

The workshop brochure is available at (look under Irrigation Events). You also can contact your county NDSU Extension Service office or Scherer at (701) 231-7239 or