What is in this article?:
- Is it time for a center pivot revival in the Delta?
- System 'right on target'
- NRCS financial assistance available
Many center pivot irrigation systems in the Delta are 25 years old or more. Based on their experience with these systems, some growers have a perception that center pivots can’t keep up with crop water demand and are converting to surface irrigation. “It’s a disturbing trend,” says Paul Rodrigue, USDA National Resource Conservation Service supervisory engineer at Grenada, Miss. “These conversions reduce irrigation efficiency and increase demand on already stressed groundwater resources.”
DISTRIBUTION of water from an appropriately configured modern pivot system can be more water-efficient than surface irrigation, a NRCS study demonstrates.
NRCS financial assistance available
“Financial assistance is determined by program emphasis and ranking of applicants,” he says. “Most programs are coordinated with one or more partners — Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Water Management District, Delta Wildlife, Delta F.A.R.M., Mississippi Soil and Water Commission, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
“The first step is to complete an application as your local NRCS county office. The deadline for submitting applications for the first ranking period of Fiscal Year 2014 programs is Nov. 1, 2013.”
The newer data from the Coahoma County center pivot evaluation indicate, Rodrigue says, that “these systems offer high efficiency with lower management inputs that surface irrigation systems. Perhaps it’s time for a center pivot revival in the Delta.”