Oklahoma State University is providing 4 days of advanced training and education on irrigation strategies, tools and management in the Master Irrigator Program in January and February.

Online registration is now open for the series — Jan. 31 and Feb. 8, 15 and 22 — which will be held at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Altus. The program is offered to producers, crop consultants and farm managers in southwest Oklahoma, with preference for participants from Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Tillman counties.

Irrigation is a key resource in successful agricultural production. Use of irrigation scheduling tools to manage water application can increase water productivity with lower capital costs than installation of new systems. However, use of such scheduling technologies and tools — such as soil moisture sensors and crop growth model-based systems — requires advanced knowledge for effective application. Some research shows precision scheduling can increase water productivity by 25 percent compared to conventional irrigation application.

Participants will be eligible for points in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), well auditing from OSU’s Mobile Irrigation Laboratory and reimbursement up to $2,000 on the purchase of water conservation technology.

The program is supported by OSU Extension, OSU Ag Research, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Oklahoma Water Resources Center, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

A $100 registration fee covers lunch, snacks and programming materials. For more information, contact Sumit Sharma at 580-349-5440.

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