Smart Irrigation Month provides us with an opportunity to think about conservation in our food production.
When some people think about conservation, they think of deprivation. In other words, conserving water means sacrificing what would otherwise grow. That’s not necessarily the case when it comes irrigation. Smart, efficient irrigation can actually result in reduced water losses and improved environmental quality while boosting on-farm productivity.
Today’s smart irrigation technology provides farmers with more information than they’ve ever had. Farmers can input data into computers identifying what they’re growing, where they’re growing, and in what soil type they’re growing. Then they can receive an irrigation schedule that considers local weather conditions.
Efficient irrigation not only maximizes water use, but it also reduces excess water run off, safeguarding our streams and waterways against contamination. If not well managed, runoff from agricultural lands can also contaminate critical natural habitats.
It’s great to know that crops can grow as well, if not better, when water is used efficiently, and that there are additional benefits in the environment. That sounds like something worth celebrating!