New technology to conserve water while yielding successful crops - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

New technology to conserve water while yielding successful crops

Posted: Updated:

AMARILLO - The ongoing drought has obviously taken a toll on panhandle agriculture, but new technology could help future crops thrive while conserving water.

For anything to grow, water is necessary. That much is simple, but how to conserve it is not.

"We started working with the International Atomic Energy Agency actually, which has a soil and water division dedicated to the peaceful use of nuclear energy," said USDA Research Soil Scientist Steven Evett.
       
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation and Production Research Lab in Bushland has a radioactive device that measures water in soil with extreme accuracy.

For the past thirteen years, area scientists and researchers have been working to find a nonnuclear way to do the job, and today they showed their results to area farmers.

"We're making good progress and we're very hopeful that it'll be out in the fall," Evett said. "We think that as it begins to be installed here in the southern great plains, we will see farmers adopt it because it's going to be accurate, and it'll be the same cost as the alternatives that we have out there right now."

The new technology will allow farmers to use just the right amount of water on crops; using less water, but with higher efficiency.

Many area farmers already use technology meant to do the same thing, but the frequency domain sensors are inaccurate, and time consuming for farmers to collect the data.

The new time domain water sensors will collect more accurate information, and in a more timely way for farmers.

It's technology like this that the USDA's Ogallala Aquifer Program says will ensure a bright future for agriculture.

"We want to sustain the productivity that we're getting from the Ogallala Aquifer as far into the future as possible," said Ogallala Aquifer Program Manager David Brauer. "Because that generates farm income, that farm income generates community wealth, and it's able to sustain our populations and our livelihoods here."

The Ogallalla Aquifer program is funded by the USDA, and Brauer said it will likely be affected by sequestration cuts, though he couldn't predict how.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:40 AM EDT2014-08-29 08:40:15 GMT
    Weather- Clear Skies RotatorWeather- Clear Skies Rotator
    Chance of Storms Today, Drying Out This Weekend...
    Chance of Storms Today, Drying Out This Weekend...
  • Marlow man charged with burglary spree

    Marlow man charged with burglary spree

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 05:15:20 GMT
     A Duncan man was charged Thursday with two counts of car theft after a bizarre series of incidents in Marlow.
     A Duncan man was charged Thursday with two counts of car theft after a bizarre series of incidents in Marlow.
  • Man charged with daycare burglary

    Man charged with daycare burglary

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:06 AM EDT2014-08-29 05:06:37 GMT
     A man charged with stealing thousands of dollars in band equipment is now facing another burglary charge.
     A man charged with stealing thousands of dollars in band equipment is now facing another burglary charge.

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.