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Irrigation

Discover the latest irrigation systems, technological advances and practices to help you get the most from your water supply.

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People are arriving home from work in the late afternoon, turning on their washers, dryers and ovens. Demand for power is peaking, so a utility puts in a call to a big farm: “Can you postpone irrigating your hay for a couple of hours?”

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Roger and Shelley Barton own and operate Barton Farm in Ferron, Utah. The Bartons farm 120 acres of alfalfa and mixed grasses used for horse hay. They irrigate with a center-pivot irrigation system.

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Water is a crop input that seems to fall free-of-charge from the sky. But specialists at Syngenta say there are definite costs associated with water, whether it comes directly from rainfall or through irrigation.

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Mature, healthy and productive alfalfa stands have developed an extensive crown and root system, enabling the crop to withstand adverse climatic conditions such as drought.

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Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

Mike Hansen’s wife kept asking him if there was any way he could stop flooding the driveway at the end of their pasture. 

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Growing concern over a worsening world water crisis has brought even greater scrutiny to production agriculture’s thirst for water. That’s no surprise since agriculture consumes about 75 percent of the world’s water supply, according to estimates by the United Nations Environment Programme.

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