Dwindling water supplies prompt recommendations for growers
AgriLife Research has provided 16 management recommendations to help growers address this period of limited water supplies, Enciso said.
“It’s a long list that is available by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org,” he said. “These recommendations are also available at http://weslaco.tamu.edu. The list includes taking advantage of this drought to level their land, install flow meters and rain gauges to better manage water use, reduce irrigated areas to give priority to perennial crops like citrus and sugarcane, plant more drought-resistant crops, and consider which crops have high- and low-yield response, profitability and risk to water stress.”
Others recommendations include considerations regarding irrigating at critical crop growth stages, managing furrow flow rates to advance water faster on rows to reduce deep percolation, supervise irrigation to avoid runoff, reduce the irrigated areas and the number of irrigations in some crops, he said.
Also on the list is using plastic irrigation pipes, irrigating alternate rows, irrigating on furrows compacted by the traffic of tractor wheels and the use of surge irrigation. Farmers can also plant dryland crops such as sorghum and cotton.
“The details on each of these recommendations vary by district and farmer; not all recommendations apply to all growers. But our office is ready to help any and all growers who would like more information,” Enciso said.
The list of recommendations was compiled by AgriLife Research with input from the Lower Rio Grande Valley Water District Managers’ Association, he said.