“The conference is a good place to pick up four Soil and Water Management CEUs, an opportunity that can be hard to find, while also gaining the latest research-based insights and information about many irrigation-related subjects,” said David Nowlin, Caddo County Extension director.
The conference will take place from 9:30 a.m. to approximately 4:15 p.m. in Building 400 of the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center, located at 1415 7th St. in Ft. Cobb, south-southwest of State Highway 9 and north of E. 1320 Rd. Registration is $15 per participant.
“Although we will be accepting payment at the door, we ask participants who can to pre-register as soon as possible,” said Saleh Taghvaeian, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension water resources specialist. “This greatly aids our planning and helps ensure we have sufficient lunches, refreshments and session materials on hand.”
Registration forms are available online at http://oces.okstate.edu/caddo/oklahoma-irrigation-conference and through all OSU Cooperative Extension county offices.
“The Oklahoma Water Resources Center is helping to support this conference because irrigation has been and will always remain a vital aspect of Oklahoma agriculture,” said Garey Fox, OWRC director and holder of the OSU Thomas E. Berry Professorship.
Fox stressed that while rainfall this spring and summer helped alleviate drought concerns, members of the region’s agricultural industry must continue to use available water supplies wisely. Al Sutherland, OSU Mesonet agricultural coordinator, agreed.
“Oklahoma’s recent 5-year drought showcased the vitally important role played by water in agricultural production,” Sutherland said. “Water is a fleeting resource. We went from years of plenty to a time of short supply, and then for many, no supply.”
Sutherland and Fox stated that the time to prepare for drought is when water is plentiful.
“In the midst of a crisis such as what Oklahoma and the region experienced with the level of historic drought in recent years, money will be tight and options will be few,” Sutherland said. “The time to examine and make preparations is actually before a water crisis hits. The rainfall this year has given the region a bit of a reprieve. Let’s take advantage of it.”
Conference sessions will include understanding irrigation and evapotranspiration, cotton irrigation requirements, interpreting soil and water tests, managing salinity in irrigation, comparing performance of mobile drip irrigation to low-elevation spray applications, irrigation efficiency and conservation, tools for pre-season and in-season adjustments in irrigation management, using sensor-based technologies to improve irrigation management and planting strategies for wheat under subsurface drip irrigation, among others.
Sessions will be led by scientists and specialists from OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension, and Kansas State University.
“The conference is not only an opportunity to hear and interact with some of the region’s top experts in irrigation, but also for producers to compare notes with other farmers and ranchers who may be in a situation similar to their own,” Taghvaeian said.
Additional information about the Aug. 18 Oklahoma Irrigation Conference is available by contacting the Caddo County Extension Office at 405-247-3376.
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