Just over 15 years ago on a small Kerman farm, a significant irrigation study was conducted as an almond and table grape grower prepared to switch from flood irrigation. The result was not only proof that drip irrigation was highly efficient; it was also the beginning of an irrigation evolution on the Lehman farm.
Some 32 years ago, Hubert Frerich was diversified with a few watermelons on the farm at Garden City, Texas. The local Texas Agricultural Extension Service office back then suggested he try some drip irrigation on melons. Hubert did. The rest was history.
From its meager start in the melon patch where Hubert and Annette Frerich tried drip irrigation at Garden City, Texas, the Eco-Drip Subsurface Drip Irrigation business expanded into several states and put down roots for cotton.
The ability to water odd-shaped fields, lower pumping costs and increase water efficiency in hot, droughty weather are things that come to the forefront in talking about drip irrigation with Gary Greving and Don Anthony of Nebraska.
Harold Worrell has the distinction of being the first producer to use subsurface drip irrigation systems around Altus, Okla. He installed them in 1995, building them underneath 1,800 acres of cotton and leaving 3,200 acres underneath sprinkler systems.
A group of vegetable growers from different regions of Australia toured California’s Salinas Valley recently and saw how vegetable farmers did everything from irrigation to harvest. Some of their findings surprised them.
In the worst stretch of drought in Texas history with extreme heat and winds, a Texas corn grower’s 2011 crop was saved by drip irrigation.
Randy Uhrmacher is one of the early adopters of subsurface-drip irrigation in Nebraska, at least on a full quarter-section scale.