Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural Production Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural Irrigation

Agricultural water users can optimize water use efficiency and protect the quality of water resources by applying basic information about irrigation systems, crop water use and management practices.

Economics & Costs

The University of Nebraska's Bureau of Business Research conducted a study in 2003 to determine the impact of irrigated agriculture on Nebraska 's economy. The net total economic impact was computed by comparing impacts with irrigation to what would have resulted without irrigation. The research examined actual 2003 impacts and what would have occurred if average precipitation had occurred. For normal precipitation the total impact of irrigation would have been just over $3.6 billion per year. Since 2003 was a drought year, the actual economic impact was more than $4.5 billion.

Read More

Water Optimizer Tool

The Water Optimizer tool evaluates single fields for several crop options. Irrigated crops include: corn, soybeans, sorghum, wheat, alfalfa, edible beans, sunflowers, and sugar beets. Dryland crops include: corn, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, alfalfa and wheat in continuous, summer fallow and eco-fallow rotations.

Read More

Order CD/DVD Set

Order the Water Optimizer CD/DVD set for $7.00. The CD/DVD set contains material not available for download: background information, applications, examples and research results for the Water Optimizer program.

Read More

Soil Water

Irrigation scheduling needs to begin with a discussion on soil and soil water. This is the basis of irrigation scheduling.

Coarse soils, such as sands and gravels, have relatively large pores. However the number of pores is small when compared to a finer textured soil. Fine soils, like clays or clay loams, have relatively small pores. Having many small pores means that a fine textured soil can hold more water than a coarse textured soil.

Read More

Precipitation Patterns

Another major factor in irrigation scheduling is making use of precipitation, both during the growing season and in the off season. Shown below is a map detailing the average net irrigation requirement for corn for the State of Nebraska.

The net irrigation requirement is based on precipitation patterns and soils. In wet years less water is needed and in dry years more water will be needed.

Read More

Pages

Sign up for updates from UNL Water

Sign Up Here