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Published December 03 2010

Irrigation workshops slated for Bismarck, Williston

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding irrigation workshops Dec. 9 in Bismarck and Dec. 15 in Williston.

“During the last three growing seasons, irrigation systems were run for relatively short periods of time due to cool weather and timely rains,” says Tom Scherer, NDSU Extension irrigation/water quality specialist. “However, those farmers with irrigation still saw a significant impact on the yield, especially on high-value crops such as potatoes. Rain was well-distributed across the state all three years, but some areas still experienced drought conditions during the growing season. Having the ability to irrigate produced a substantial difference in yields.”

Irrigation provides more consistent crop production on a year-to-year basis, allows longer-season crops (such as corn, potatoes and soybeans) to be grown, provides a consistent supply of forage for animal operations and diversifies the farm enterprise, he adds.

The Dec. 9 workshop is in the Grand Pacific Room at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. Topics will include an update on the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, irrigation and salinity, Nesson Valley and Carrington/Oakes irrigation research, growing sugar beets for energy production, irrigated land rental rates and irrigation water permit issues. The program also will include a session on new technology for irrigation management.

Registration is at the door and will begin about 8 a.m. The cost is $20.

This workshop is being held in conjunction with the North Dakota Water Users Association convention, which will include an irrigation exposition where suppliers display their products and services. The NDSU Extension Service, Missouri Slope Irrigation Development Association and North Dakota Irrigation Association are sponsoring the workshop.

The Dec. 15 workshop is in the Ernie French Center at the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center just west of Williston on U.S. Highway 2. This workshop is for experienced irrigators in the area.

Topics will include irrigated crop budgets and land rental rates; crop disease management; the energy beet project; uniformity of center pivot sprinklers; updates on the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, Nesson Valley irrigation research and irrigation research from the Agricultural Research Service; and soybean, sunflower and field pea/lentil production. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. No registration fee is required.

For more information, contact any county Extension office or call Scherer at (701) 231-7239.