12/14 - Seven free, public lectures at UNL focus on Advances in irrigation management

LINCOLN, Neb. – Seven free public lectures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, beginning in January and lasting through April, will focus on various aspects of advances in irrigation management.

Together, the seven lectures comprise UNL’s annual spring semester water and natural resources seminar that is put on by UNL’s School of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Water Center, part of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska.

“Evolving and advancing irrigation management practices are at the very core of Nebraska’s powerful and productive agricultural economy. It is safe to say that without development of the irrigation technologies and management we have today, our state economy would be far different than it is,” said Chittaranjan Ray, director of the Nebraska Water Center at UNL’s Innovation Campus.

“Irrigation is not without risk, responsibility and a clear focus on the future, however,” he said.

According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, there were just under 2.2 million acres of crop and pastureland under irrigation in 1964. Fifty years later, in 2014, that number had increased to just under 8.3 million acres, representing just under half of the total cropland harvested in the state.

The seven speakers in this spring’s seminar will look at advances and management of this important technology from perspectives of both university experts and industry leaders.

Cody Bailey of Reinke Manufacturing Co. will open the series on Wednesday, Jan. 17 with “A unique view of an advanced center pivot irrigation system.

Subsequent lectures, held roughly every-other-Wednesday afternoon through April 18, will look at advances in the irrigation equipment, science and management practices.

Xin Qiao, a water and irrigation management specialist at UNL’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, closes the seminar on April 18 with a talk on “Irrigation management in western Nebraska and future opportunities.”

All of the lectures are 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the first-floor auditorium of Hardin Hall on UNL’s East Campus in Lincoln.

In addition to being offered free to the public, the seminar is can be taken for student credit through UNL’s School of Natural Resources.

Individual lecture videos and speaker PowerPoint presentation will be posted online at watercenter.unl.edu.

Lectures in the seminar:

Jan. 17             Cody Bailey, Reinke Manufacturing Co., Inc. A Unique View of an Advanced Center Pivot Irrigation System

Jan. 31           Williams Memorial Lecture: Ken Quandt, McCrometer Corp. McCrometer Flow Connect: Building on Irrigation Flow Meter Fundamentals

Feb. 14           Trenton Franz, UNL: Spatiotemporal Prediction of Soil Properties and States in Variably Saturated Landscapes

Feb. 28           Daran Rudnick, UNL: Performance of Tools and Technologies for Scheduling Irrigation and Fertigation in Western Nebraska

March 14           Kremer Memorial Lecture: Kurtis Charling, Lindsay Corp.: Using Proven Science, Research, and Big Data to Simplify and Optimize Irrigation Management

March 21           No Seminar (UNL Spring Break)

April 4           Derek Heeren, UNL: Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI): Potential Benefits, Limitations, and Management Practices

April 18           Xin Qiao, UNL: Irrigation Management in Western Nebraska and Future Opportunities