The ongoing drought and the recent decision by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources to make 2013 a "compact call year" for southwest Nebraska natural resources districts will put pressure on the region's irrigation water use this season.
University of Nebraska Extension is teaming up with Monsanto/DEKALB and the four NRDs in the basin to offer a free educational program to help producers cope with limited water supplies. The meetings will be held at three locations: Feb. 11 at the Fairgrounds in Imperial; Feb. 12 at the Fairgrounds in McCook; and Feb. 13 at the Ag Center in Holdrege.
The four NRDs are the Upper Republican, Middle Republican and Lower Republican, and the Tri-Basin.
Water allocations in the three Republican Basin NRDs will be reduced in 2013 due to the call year requirements. Surface water users also will be affected, since certain reservoirs in the system will not be allowed to store "new water" flowing into them.
This program will discuss and share cropping system methods to maximize corn and soybean production in water short years, according to Chuck Burr, UNL Extension educator.
Topics to be covered include: NRD update on water policy and regulations; future of Irrigation in Republican Valley; corn and soybean cropping systems; selecting the right hybrid for your field; the journey of drought; hybrid and water interaction testing in the West; residue management impact on water efficiency; nutrient and water interaction; and impact of terraces and small reservoirs on Republican River flow.
The program, including noon meal, is free.
Contact numbers for each of the meetings are: Upper Republican NRD, 308-882-5173; Middle Republican NRD, 308-367-4281; Lower Republican NRD, 308-928-2182; and or Tri-Basin NRD, 308-995-6688.