"I" is for irrigation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

"I" is for irrigation

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

October 16, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Farmers were able to join together over the past three days, checking out the newest farming technology, and getting tips on the most EFFICIENT ways to farm.

Farmers we spoke with were like me, overwhelmed with just how much there is to learn and see here.

But the one thing that seemed to be on everyone's list had to do with water and how to be better irrigators.

Over at the University of Georgia's exhibit, the theme this week was water conservation, and one of the featured gadgets were moisture sensors that detect the level of moisture in the soil.

The idea of using sensors and monitoring soil over time isn't a new concept for high value crops, but using the them out in row crops is, and with high diesel costs, any way average farmers can save a buck or two, is a step in the right direction.

"Now our irrigation application costs are about $16 an acre in some cases, something a little bit more than that. So we feel like with these sensors it can easily sometimes with some crops save one, two, maybe three applications a year," says Dougherty County Agent Rad Yager.

The sensor's measurements are so accurate that not only do they save farmer's water and money, it saves them time, and in many cases it can help produce better crops.

Now they said the next step as far as the sensors go is putting the recorded data on the internet, so farmers can keep up with their crops here in Moultrie for example, while they are hundreds of miles away.

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