The Texas Alliance for Water Conservation (TAWC) hosted the second ï¿½Pioneers in Agricultureï¿½ Field Day on August 10 at the Floyd County Unity Center in Muncy.
Over 120 people attended the field day to learn new resources for irrigation scheduling/resource management and the latest recommendations for production decisions/profitability for the next growing season.
Now in their fifth season, the TAWC is an eight-year project allowing select farmers in the project area to work together with consultants and researchers to implement the latest water management technologies. Presentations included new technologies such as SmartCrop and AquaSpy that are being utilized to determine irrigation needs.
Landowners and producers, commodity leaders, federal and state officials, research experts, Texas policy makers, and organization representatives, attended the TAWC program and tour to learn about the emerging technologies for farmers related to water saving measures and cost- cutting strategies.
Keynote speaker state Sen. Robert Duncan, responsible for the state initiative funding in 2005, addressed the group during lunch and commended the work of the TAWC and the success they have had in implementing the most up-to-date technologies for management that he said would enable all of us to do more in the future to conserve water.
ï¿½Iï¿½m excited each year to see the program attendance grow for this project,ï¿½ said Duncan.
ï¿½Agriculture is the key to the future of West Texas,ï¿½
The TAWC project has been using the opportunity to test their water-conserving systems across 4,000 acres on 26 farms and ranches. The research that has been implemented in the field, bringing integrated agricultural production practices and technologies together to find effective solutions for conserving water, reducing the depletion of ground water while maintaining or improving agricultural production.
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been a collaborating partner in the project with Texas Tech University, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, producers of Hale and Floyd Counties, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, FARM Assistance, and the High Plains Underground Water District No. 1.
Individuals and organizations that make up the TAWC are on a mission to conserve water for future generations by collaborating to identify those agricultural production practices and technologies that, when integrated across the land, will reduce the depletion of ground water while maintaining or improving agricultural production and economic opportunities.
Participants toured demonstration sites where different varieties of perennial grasses are being studied for forage production.
Demonstration plots on the tour included corn water use trials where they have measured the effect of reduced application as compared to full-season application.
Multiple varieties of corn were evaluated under two different plant populations using two types of irrigation management and technologies.
Lunch was served at the Unity Center in Muncy following the tour.