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Senior Contributor

Irrigation limits

Last year at this time seems there were a few people on here talking about water restriction. Has anyone had them this year. If so what were the effects on crops.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

There were some irrigation projects around here, that had limited water, but enough to give everyone their minimum allotment.   Knowing that, it seems farmers planted enough beans and/or milo, and combined with a few timely rains, it seems no one I know really was short this year.   Had they gone all corn like last year, I think some may have been a little short.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

I'm guessing your in Nebraska? I'm really enjoying leaning how people in other parts of the country manage crops. Sometimes something so small from someplace so different can be usefull in ones own operation.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

Yup, I'm from Nebraska.

It is interesting here, the different type of water rights, just in my area.

For example, I have the right to irrigate so many acres, each individual field is listed as irrigated, not irrigated, with defined boundaries where I can irrigate or not.   However, as long as I irrigate only my alloted acres, I have no practical limit to how much water I can use.

Others have a certain amount of acre feet, or acre inches (the ability to water each acre, with so many inches of water), on each acre.   In most cases, as long as it is on one field (and occasionally adjacent fields) you can plant part to a high water use crop, like corn or alfalfa, and part to a lower water use crop like wheat or soybeans, and apply any unused water from them, to the high water use crop.

I do not have any time constraints on when I irrigate, some have a starting and finishing date when they can water.

In general, it seems if you have your own well, you have less restriction, particualarly on an older well, although in all cases I know of, you are restricted to your alloted acres.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

Who controls and enforces this.
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Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

Nebraska department of natural resources control surface water.  Local Natural department of resources control ground water.

 

In my area we can pump all the well water you can pump, but and only apply water to irrigated acres you have certified.  river water has a limit of how gpm you can pump per acre and a limit of how many acre feet you can pump per acre per year.

 

To a nrd to the west of me,  They can pump so many gallons per well, so a well hooked to a pivot that has 200 acres in it can pump no more gallons than a well which is hooked to a 80 acre pivot.     others are limited to how many gallons per certified irrigated acre.  so it varys to which nrd you are in on well water. 

 

In my area, we can not get new irrigated acres unless we win the water lottery!  Our nrd is allowing 2500 new acres a year for four years.  They use a point system which considers depleation of stream flow, type of soil, type of irrigation. (sprinkler, flood, subsurface drip, ect). necessity to drill a new well, possibly other things.  the applications for the third year have allready been applied for.  I would guess that after next year, (fourth year) there will be no more additional irrigated acres allowed ever again in our nrd.  All new acres must have a flow meter installed.  Our nrd measures the static waterlevel every year.  If it were too drop much in our area, I would expect rationing.  I do live in the sandhills of NNW Nebraska, where there is not land suitable for farming on evey quarter, so we would not expect there to be the ground water drop that areas have that have irrigation on almost every quarter section.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

In southern Ohio the only irrigation uses river water. All the water for home use Is municipal, even several miles out of town. We have a few wells on our farm, they used to be for watering cattle. The water has lots of iron and flow was very limited.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

I might add, that around here, they use sattelite imagry, so they know what you do and don't irrigate.   When you certify at the FSA, the map clearly shows just how far the water got.

Maybe one thing, if there is no farm bill, and farmer's don't have to sign their name on documents certifying just how many acres they are watering, it might be more tempting to try to water that little corner that often dries up.

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Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

What do they do to the city water? filter it, Filtered surface water?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Irrigation limits

In my area yep. It's pretty nasty. One water company had some wells but I don't think they can keep up with demand. now they buy some off the company that draws from the Ohio river. Pepsi even gets water for Aquifina from the river.
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