Film provides water-saving advice for Delta producers, picks up award
By Dave Edmark
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Feb. 5, 2016
• Film explains how to use Pipe Planner, a water management program
• Division of Agriculture supported film’s production with soybean boards
(Newsrooms: with image at www.flickr.com/photos/uacescomm/24793817366)
STUTTGART, Ark. – At two hours it’s longer than most theatrical releases, but a film that was produced with University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture support will provide farmers tips on saving water and money using Computerized Hole Selection that will make it worth their while to sit through the full feature.
The video, “Pipe Planner: All You Need to Know,” recently earned the American Society of Agronomy 2015 Extension and Education Community Award for Video. Chris Henry, an assistant professor at the Division’s Rice Research and Extension Center, participated in production of the video that can be viewed at https://youtu.be/36vIpjutPgM. He shared the award with Joe Massey of the USDA-ARS Delta Water Research Management Unit at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Chris DeClerk of Delta Plastics in Little Rock and Zac Ashmore of Mississippi State University Ag Communications. Mike Hamilton, an extension irrigation instructor and Phil Tacker, a retired irrigation engineer, also participated.
Financial support for the production was provided by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board. The video outlines how CHS can be used to reduce pumping costs and improve profitability. The first part of the video includes animations showing the hydraulics of why CHS works and interviews from producers who have been using CHS on their farms, explaining its impact on their bottom line. The final part of the video is step-by-step instruction on how to use Pipe Planner, a free online tool from Delta Plastics for implementing CHS.
“Now is the time to be getting riser flows with portable flow meters and the input data that is needed for the program,” Hamilton said. CHS is a computer program in which the user inputs the flow rate of a well, the size of the field and the pipe, or crown, slope. Then it provides a hole punch plan that provides uniform distribution of water across the field and keeps just the right pressure in the pipe, nearly eliminating bursting from overpressure.
Hamilton said it’s best to do the plans in the winter and have them ready well before the season. Most producers keep a notebook with all of their plans in them. “This makes it easy and fast to know what needs to be done when it’s time to punch holes,” he said.
Additional assistance with CHS can be sought from Henry directly and through local county offices. “Every county agent is trained and skilled with both PHAUCET and Pipe Planner and can assist producers who want to implement CHS on their fields,” Henry said. Additional incentives are available through Irrigation Water Management Plans to implement CHS through every USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field office. This is an incentive payment in addition to the 20-25 percent pumping cost savings that CHS often provides, Henry said.
Ground water levels have lowered in recent decades, leading to restraints on the aquifer. The video explains that water is harder to find and more expensive to pump out of the ground at deeper levels.
Pipe Planner is part of Delta Plastics’ H2O Initiative, which seeks to reduce water usage in the Delta by 20 percent by 2020. More information about CHS and irrigation water management can be found online at www.uaex.edu/irrigation or at your local extension office and local NRCS field office.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Dave Edmark
U of A Division of Agriculture