As a farmer, you have to perform a delicate balancing act: giving your plants enough water to survive, while conserving as much as possible. Water conservation and irrigation go hand in hand in Texas. In addition to being better for the environment, it also saves you money on this valuable utility.
Here are five ways some Texas farmers are saving water:
- Drought-tolerant crops: Texas has certainly had its share of extreme weather conditions lately, and unfortunately, we can expect that to continue. One smart way to save water is to start planting drought-resistant crops. Depending on where in Texas your farm is located, you can benefit from planting fields with crops that have low water needs. Olives, cucumbers and some beans are great for arid conditions, but do your research to make sure they grow well in your specific region.
- Drip irrigation: Spray irrigation can waste a lot of water, especially if your crop doesn’t absorb as much water from the top layers of soil. Drip irrigation does an excellent job of delivering water directly to a plant’s roots. You can also time your watering for the cooler parts of the day, which ensures the water doesn’t evaporate right away. In fact, drip irrigation can boost your crop yield while saving up to 80 percent on water.
- Dry farming: Dry farming completely avoids irrigation, instead using the natural soil moisture to grow plants. Tomatoes, stone fruits, apples, grapes and potatoes are all possible to dry farm. As you might imagine, this saves a significant amount of water. It also provides much tastier crops—however, you’ll see lower yields than if you were to irrigate them. You also need to pay attention to special microclimates and put in significantly more work tilling the soil.
- Scheduling irrigation: Savvy farmers use irrigation scheduling to ensure they don’t over- or underwater their crops. This requires farmers to carefully watch the weather forecast and test the soil’s moisture levels frequently. It takes dedication, but can certainly reduce your water usage. In turn, you’ll save money on irrigation.
- Organic crops: Finally, farmers are planting organic crops, which can actually have greater yields with the same amount of water. Studies have shown that organic corn crops yield 30 percent more than those sprayed with pesticides. It’s a great way to save water and increase the groundwater supply by 20 percent.
There are dozens of ways in which you can save water while farming. These are just a few of the most popular ways to grow healthy, prolific crops while cutting down on your water usage. It’s good for your crops, good for the environment and good for your bottom line.
If you’re interested in learning more about water conservation in Texas and how your irrigation system can help you save water, B&M Pump Irrigation Sales & Service, Inc. can help. We specialize in irrigation systems and can recommend complete systems, upgrades and more. Call us today to learn more or schedule a consultation. We look forward to discussing your needs!
Categorised in: Irrigation