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Irrigation at K-State Research and Extension

Irrigation Water Management Team Receive Award

The Irrigation Water Management Team - Freddie Lamm, Norm Klocke, Gary Clark, Loyd Stone, Rob Aiken, Alan Schlegel, Jeff Peterson, Danny Rogers, Mahbub Alam, Dan O'Brien, Troy Dumler, and Dale Fjell were recently honored by K-State Research and Extension (KSRE) as recipients of one of three KSRE Team Awards for the year 2006.

The Irrigation Water Management Team is an informal alliance of colleagues that regularly collaborate to address various irrigation water management issues. They recognize each other's strengths and expertise and join together as necessary to address the issue at hand.

The Mobile Irrigation Lab developed by Gary Clark, Dan Rogers, Mahbub Alam and Dale Fjell is one example. This lab provides general irrigation educational programs and technical assistance to Kansas agricultural producers. A key educational effort is the lab software, KanSched, that the team has developed to aid irrigators in scheduling.

Several team members (Norm Klocke, Loyd Stone and Troy Dumler) also recently cooperated to develop a software program called Crop Water Allocator which allows producers to plan and evaluate combinations of crops, irrigation amounts and land allocations.

Team members have used multiple approaches to extend information about irrigation issues. They play a leadership role in the annual regional Central Plains Irrigation Conference which was held in Colby in February, 2006. The conference included oral and written presentations authored or co-authored by Lamm (5 papers), Rogers (4), Klocke (2), Alam(3), Aiken (1), Schlegel (2), Stone (3), Dumler (4), O'Brien (1). They have collaborated on multiple research projects, the results of which have been shared at agricultural producer meetings. They have developed web sites, and have authored books and numerous irrigation-related articles. In one example publication by Lamm, Stone and O'Brien, irrigation schedules (1972-2005) were coupled with yield functions and economic models to examine profitability for the major summer crops. The results indicate the primary advantage of irrigation system improvements that increase application efficiency is in the improvement in crop yields for lower capacity systems. Crop yield improvements alone may justify governmental incentives for irrigation system improvements.

Three websites are most closely associated with the irrigation water management team:

SDI in the Great Plains: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/sdi/
Mobile Irrigation Lab: http://www.mobileirrigationlab.com
General Irrigation Topics: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/irrigate/

A colleague from a neighboring state endorsed their nomination for the team award with these words "I believe there is no state that has better agricultural irrigation water management technical support from the land grant system than Kansas."