CSU Extension offers free workshop for installing center pivot irrigation systems

Are you thinking of installing a center pivot irrigation system but have several questions? How much is it going to cost? Can I use my ditch or canal water, or is it better to install a well? What about putting a center pivot on my least productive land—will I ever get my money back? How do I find augmentation water and how much does it cost? Am I eligible for higher cost share benefits?

If you have ever considered installing a center pivot irrigation system, make plans today to sign up for a free workshop exploring the costs, benefits and regulatory hurdles of improving your irrigation efficiency.

One workshop will be Jan. 29 at Otero Junior College in La Junta and the second will be Jan. 30 at the Cow Palace in Lamar.

Those interested only need to sign up for one workshop. This free workshop is offered to by CSU Extension and the Western Center for Risk Management, but space is limited to only 20 producers.

During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore the costs and benefits of improving irrigation practices for their specific farm, given the constraints and unique circumstances of water administration in the Lower Arkansas River valley. This analysis will account for unique local conditions like needing augmentation water, Rule 10 planning, fluctuating commodity prices and water rights modeling.

The workshop will also feature presentations by the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Lower Arkansas Water Conservancy District and CSU Extension, covering the technical challenges and tips for funding, installing and maintaining center pivots.

The NRCS will be on hand to explain available cost-sharing programs and eligibility. The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservation District will be there to explain how Rule 10 planning can be used to approve irrigation augmentation plans quickly and at a reasonable cost.

An optional afternoon session is reserved for specific questions from attendees and to work through participants’ own plans, with the assistance of the workshop experts. Finally, local CSU Extension irrigation specialists have volunteered to follow up with participating farmers after the meeting to answer specific questions.

To register for the workshop, visit www.coloradoarmac.org and click on “Register” in the “What’s New” box. Or participants can register by calling Blake Osborn, water resources specialist for CSU Extension, at 719-545-1845. There is no cost to attend the workshop and lunch will be served.