Increase Water Use Efficiency
To increase adoption of soil moisture sensors and other water use efficiency tools the UGA Extension agent in Jeff Davis County conducted research plots and educational meetings. Over the past two years, five farmers and one consultant representing 15,000 acres were involved in the AgWET research program. These research plots consisted of placing three water sensors in two cotton fields and scheduling irrigation based off of the readings. Participating growers also watered a comparable field using their normal standards to compare results. Two meetings on “Water Use and Irrigation Efficiency” were held reaching 41 people. Recently, a tailgate meeting was held in the cotton field to demonstrate the easy install and simple technology interface of the sensors with 20 growers in attendance. The participants said that they have changed the way they irrigate cotton as well as other crops by using the data the sensors provide. They also said that using the sensors reduced the number of times they watered and often changed the amount. Eliminating one irrigation event with this group of farmers saved on average 814,620 gallons of water and $270.