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Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE)

Understanding Irrigation Systems and New Technologies

close up view of irrigation nozzle spraying water


Thursday, March 25, 2021

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

This training began with a presentation to summarize key findings from a recent survey of agricultural producers in the Ogallala Aquifer region.  

The presentation also reviewed the recent developments in irrigated acreage across Kansas, and irrigation technologies and management techniques currently in use. It touched on some basics such as crop water needs, scheduling tools such as K-State’s KanSched, soil moisture sensors and sprinkler packages.

There was a discussion about current levels of groundwater consumption in northwest Kansas, and concerns relative to the long-term feasibility of irrigated agriculture in the area. In order to extend the economic life of the aquifer and maintain the economic base of the region, groundwater water use reductions need to be implemented. Past economic studies differ in the calculated economic impact associated with groundwater use reductions. One high priority sub-area in northwest Kansas has recently mandated a reduction in groundwater use. Monitoring the Sheridan #6 Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) in real time will allow us to observe producer innovation aimed at maintaining revenues and disseminate these data to producers and stakeholders in other areas. The knowledge of how irrigated crop producers react to conservation policies will provide guidance on what is expected to happen in the future as groundwater supplies are diminished and/or conservation policies are implemented. 

ResourcesHelpful Links
Day Two Presentation SlidesMobile Irrigation Lab
Monitoring the Impacts of Sheridan County 6 LEMA (Final Report)OgallalaWater.org
Report: Economic Impacts of Selected Water Conservation Policies in the Ogallala AquiferIrrigation at K-State Research and Extension
Potential Economic Impact of Water Use Changes in Northwest Kansas2021 Agriculture Faculty Academy
Transitioning to Non-Irrigated Crop Production in Southwest Kansas Will We Have Another Dust Bowl? KanSched
A Booming Interest in Groundwater Conservation in Kansas: Why Now?
Kansas Mesonet
Irrigation Today 
Soil Moisture Monitoring Resource Guide 


Jonathan Aguilar, K-State Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Bill Golden, K-State Department of Agricultural Economics

Matt Sanderson, K-State Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Aleksey Sheshukov, K-State Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering