Farmers are concerned about controlling risk in production of crops. So Purdue Extension and Soil Water Conservation partnered together to do something about this concern in January of 2016.
The concern is this: Over 600,000 irrigated acres are within an 80 miles radius of Middlebury, Indiana. This is the largest pool of irrigated ground east of Mississippi. This irrigation recharge area is the closest pool of irrigated land to USA major population centers. The annual recharge is greater than irrigation use which makes it sustainable. The irrigation in the western states are running out of water and are not sustainable. There is an expected expansion in vegetable, seed production and other specialty crops in the counties of the attendees. For the farmers who attended the program, they said that farming is all about controlling risk. How can we manage irrigation to help control crop risk?
Newton County Extension and Newton County Soil and Water Conservation District did a program and worked together to help address the local concerns of controlling risk , sustainability and the expected expansion of specialty crops. The one day workshop focused on the impact of increasing irrigation, options and cost of irrigation systems.
A farmer who attended the meeting said that he can make priorities to land improvements to help increase yields as a result of attending the meeting. The presentation helped another farmer understand the cost and benefit to having irrigation so they can keep their seed production contact going forward.