Conserving millions of gallons of water - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Conserving millions of gallons of water

Area farmers are saving a significant amount of water with new conservation methods.

Local farmers are growing more crops, saving more water, and making more money thanks to new water conservation practices. The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District says it's mixing both old and new methods to make this possible.

Assistant Manager Kirk Welch says, "There's a lot of technology in the actual corn seed. That allows those plants to be more tolerant to low water situations. And that's another really big key to the overall system is choice of hybrids... It helps them really extend their operations for years to come because they're leaving water on the ground."

Area farmer Harold Grall says, "It's a marker (flag) showing where the probe is being placed. It's inside the field to stay out of the way of the sprinkler. And what we do is, we can go online with a laptop or Ipad, or even on your telephone. And you can go immediately to the web site, and you can see exactly what this corn is using."

They're also perfecting center pivot systems to irrigate only the amount needed for the crop to be healthy. Grall says, "We're doing everything possible to better utilize rainfall. So we're not plowing our ground anymore. We're trying to maintain high residue. In other words, we're trying to leave everything from last year's crop on top of the ground. That way when it does rain, we're utilizing all our rainfall. And it's going in to the soil."

With the demand for water increasing, the district says they want our region to conserve water through education instead of regulation.

Farmers are already producing hundreds of pounds more in crops while reducing the use of water by millions of gallons. If these methods are used across the region, billions of gallons could be saved.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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