By Alli Permann
Special to the Express
Yolo County Resource Conservation District (RCD) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Sutter County Resource Conservation District to create the Sutter-Yolo Mobile Irrigation Lab. Yolo County and Sutter County RCDs were the recipients of a Water Efficiency and Technical Assistance grant under the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation. The Sutter-Yolo Mobile Irrigation Lab provides agricultural irrigation conservation services for growers in the Southern Sacramento Valley at no cost.
The Mobile Irrigation Lab serves more than 739,679 acres of irrigated land and 5,621 farms in Sutter, Yolo, Yuba, and Colusa counties. In order to extend its reach, the Mobile Irrigation Lab is designed to be a multilingual program with services offered in English, Punjabi, and Spanish.
The Mobile Irrigation Lab features on-farm irrigation system evaluations that provide information from the pump to the emitters/sprinklers. Evaluations include in-field measurements of pressure and flow and result in confidential reports that are hand-delivered to growers. These reports include information on distribution uniformity (DU, how evenly water is applied), a map detailing the locations of pressures and flows collected, application rates, theoretical run times, recommendations for improvement, etc.
Additionally, limited funding is available for free pump efficiency tests for approximately 20 growers each year who get an irrigation evaluation. The Mobile Irrigation Lab will also coordinate training for growers that will cover topics such as irrigation efficiency and nutrient management. All of these services are designed to provide growers with valuable information at no charge so they can optimize their irrigation system, improve the evenness of delivery to plants, and help save water and energy.
To sign up for an evaluation or learn more about the Sutter-Yolo Mobile Irrigation Lab, please reach out to Conor Higgins, YCRCD Mobile Irrigation Lab Manager, at email@example.com or call 530-661-1688. Interested individuals can also sign up for an evaluation using the following link: https://tinyurl.com/yolomobilelab.