For the past couple of years, Eubank says, studies have evaluated PHAUCET, a computerized program that helps determine the proper hole diameter and number of holes to be placed in polypipe to maintain even pressure across the entire length of the pipe.

The program, developed by NRCS, takes a number of different variables into consideration to determine the optimum hole size and sequence along the pipe to allow for more uniform watering across the field.

“One of the biggest benefits is with irregular-shaped rows, enabling the producer to get more even watering,” Eubank says. “The system can provide calculations so even short runs will water out at the same time as longer runs.”

Three years of data on numerous cooperator fields showed about was about a 20 percent reduction in water use across all the trials and a reduction of about 20 percent in energy use for pumping water.

“We feel the adoption of this system could potentially reduce both water use and energy consumption for many producers,” Eubank says.

“With the demand we’re placing on the aquifer, we need to do something to protect this resource and try and halt the decline we’re seeing. Otherwise, we could face some pretty significant regulatory action in the future.

“This is a simple system, and although it’s somewhat difficult to set up initially, once it’s established the same the same sequences can be used year after year. I believe it will pay off in the long run.