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David Sparks Ph.d Technology and Conservation
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: July 19, 2018

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In a conversation with Valley Irrigation spokesperson Jake Hull, I had a thought. Please bear in mind as you listen to the to and fro, I'm not trying to hype one company or another. I'm simply trying to point out that with the fabulous array of technology available to today’s farmers, conservation efforts are made so much easier. "Bringing farmers into high tech systems such as you are talking about, does that make farming (a) easier, (b) more efficient, thus more productive? The goal is to be more productive. We can provide the technology to simplify the irrigation operation for the farmer, but ultimately, we provide them the tools and it's going to end up being how they manage those tools. What we have found is water conservation is easier when you have the appropriate technologies. You can hook these panels up to a tipping bucket. Let's say you have your pivots set to run this evening but suddenly it starts raining and you get 2 inches of rain. If you have a tipping bucket connected to your ICON panel, ICON panel can read what the tipping bucket says. You can set it for, ‘ hey if I get over an inch of rain, skip this rotation.’ Don't let the pivot turn on. That is something that saves water and also saves time because that is something that the farmer can set up once and done. After that, the panel and the machine will know, ‘Hey, we’ve got the rain that we need, we don't need to double water this field.’ Hopefully that also produces better crops, better yield because you’re not overwatering.” And less soil runoff.

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