The Latest

Events

  1. California: Advanced Precision Farming Course Offered Online, Nov. 14 – Dec. 16

    November 14 @ 8:00 am - December 16 @ 5:00 pm
  2. Texas: Private Pesticide Applicator License Training, Dec. 6, 15

    December 6 @ 8:00 am - December 15 @ 5:00 pm
  3. Kansas: K-State Program to Help Farmers Deal with Historic Ag Downturn

    December 7, 2016 @ 8:00 am - February 15, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  4. Alabama: Corn and Wheat Short Course, Auburn, Dec. 12-13

    December 12 @ 8:00 am - December 13 @ 5:00 pm
  5. Texas: 55th Blackland Income Growth Conference, Waco, Dec. 13

    December 13 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  6. Indiana: Crop Adviser Conference, Indianapolis, Dec. 13-14

    December 13 @ 8:00 am - December 14 @ 5:00 pm
  7. Indiana: Beginning Farmer Workshop, Indianapolis, Dec. 14

    December 14 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. Indiana: 4 Farm Law, Taxes Workshops Available in Dec., Jan.

    December 14, 2016 @ 8:00 am - January 13, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  9. Missouri: Crop Management Conference, Columbia, Dec. 15-16

    December 15 @ 8:00 am - December 16 @ 5:00 pm
  10. Texas: Corn Growers Conference, Austin, Jan. 3-5

    January 3, 2017 @ 8:00 am - January 5, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  11. South Carolina: Ag Marketing Seminar, Myrtle Beach, Jan. 4-6

    January 4, 2017 @ 8:00 am - January 6, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  12. South Carolina: 4 Upcoming Forest Management Workshops for Woodland Owners

    January 12, 2017 @ 8:00 am - February 10, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  13. Delaware Ag Week to Feature Record-Setting Soy Farmer, Harrington, Jan. 12

    January 12, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  14. Louisiana: LSU Offers 3 Irrigation Workshops in Jan., Feb.

    January 17, 2017 @ 8:00 am - February 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  15. Illinois: 4 Regional Crop Management Conferences in Jan., Feb.

    January 18, 2017 @ 8:00 am - February 15, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  16. Texas: Red River Crops Conference, Childress Jan. 24-25

    January 24, 2017 @ 8:00 am - January 25, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  17. Indiana: Ag Business Management Workshop, West Lafayette, Jan. 31 – Feb. 2

    January 31, 2017 @ 8:00 am - February 2, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  18. Arkansas: Agribusiness Conference, Jonesboro, Feb. 8

    February 8, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  19. Texas: National Cotton Council Meeting, Dallas, Feb. 10-12

    February 10, 2017 @ 8:00 am - February 12, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Kansas: Crop Water Allocator Helps with Efficient Irrigation, Plus Projects Net Returns

Ernst Undesser
By Mary Lou Peter, Kansas State University March 18, 2014

Its name is as straightforward as it comes. The Crop Water Allocator developed by Kansas State University has a simple name but can help producers navigate complex decisions regarding crops and rotations that best utilize water based on net economic returns. And using scarce water to help grow the global food supply is of utmost importance on the High Plains.

The CWA is one of several web-based and downloadable tools developed for crop producers by K-State Research and Extension agricultural engineers, economists and agronomists, available online at here .

By going online and filling in such information as field size, soil type, annual rainfall, plus irrigation information, a farmer can use the CWA as a seasonal planning tool to find the optimum net return from combinations of crops, irrigation amounts, and land allocations that he or she wants to examine. CWA uses crop budgets, which can be customized using an individual farmer’s values or updated from the AgManager website, to compute the net return. If program users are unsure of some of the values to input, the tool offers a default feature, which estimates values such as irrigation information, crop prices and yields, and production costs.

“This tool not only allows the producer to allocate the irrigation water over the field, but also to look at the end of the season and compute the net return,” said Jonathan Aguilar, K-State Research and Extension water resource engineer.

 

“Often a producer will get information through tools from irrigation company A, agrochemical company B and seed company C, but they would only allow you to see the benefit in terms of yield from that particular company’s input. The CWA will get you through the net returns combining the inputs from companies A, B and C,” said Aguilar in describing how the CWA integrates several scenarios into one.

By changing up the information, the tool is capable of evaluating an array of crop rotations and water allocations.

A practice scenario, for example, is if the price of corn is $6.50 per bushel and available water for irrigation is 11 inches, at what price will alfalfa and sunflower break even with corn? Under that scenario and using current default values, said Aguilar, the CWA found that alfalfa at $170 per ton and sunflower at $0.35 per pound, would break even with corn.

Drought management is another application of CWA, said Aguilar, who is based at K-State’s Southwest Research-Extension Center in Garden City: “Since you can specify in the CWA different annual precipitation levels, you could use a lower value for the precipitation to simulate drought and run the CWA to see what management strategy farmers could use.”

Aguilar spoke earlier this year at a workshop in Garden City organized by the National Drought Mitigation Center. His recorded presentation is available online.

Ernst Undesser
By Mary Lou Peter, Kansas State University March 18, 2014