Tag Archives: crops

The 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey results are out this week, showing that over 231,400 farms irrigated 55.9 million acres. That included 83.4 million acre-feet of water in the United States.

By way of comparison, the 2013 survey showed there were just over 229,230 farms that irrigated 55.3 million acres, which included 88.5 million acre-feet of water. The results show that even though the number of farms irrigating, and the amount of land increased slightly over those five years, the total amount of water used to irrigate land actually declined.

The 83.4 million acre-feet of water used to irrigate land in 2018 represent a 5.8 percent drop from 2013. The average acre-feet applied to land was 1.5, which is lower than the 1.6 in 2013. An acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot.

The largest portion of irrigated farmland acres in the U.S. was dedicated to cropland, including grains and oilseeds, vegetables, nurseries, greenhouses, as well as hay crops. The survey also shows that more acres are irrigated with sprinkler systems than with gravity irrigation.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas State University student took top honors and the K-State Crops Team placed second in the Australian University Crops Competition recently. The event was hosted by the Australian Grain Growers organization and was held at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Luke Ryan, junior in agronomy from Solomon, Kansas won top individual honors overall.

The University of Sydney placed first in the team competition, K-State placed second, and Charles Sturt University from Wagga Wagga, Australia, was third.

Three students from South Dakota State University traveled with the K-State team and participated in the competition. The teams competed against agricultural universities from across Australia.

K-State Crops Team members making the trip included top winner Luke Ryan, plus Jayden Meyer, Smith Center, junior in agricultural economics; Wes Jennings, Abilene, senior in agronomy; Nate Dick, Inman, senior in agronomy; Madison Tunnell, Olathe, junior in agronomy and Blake Kirchhoff, Hardy, Nebraska, junior in agronomy. The team was accompanied by coach Kevin Donnelly, professor of agronomy. This was the fifth trip for the K-State team since 2012 to participate in the Australian competition.

Ryan, Meyer and Jennings were awarded a stipend from the American Society of Agronomy to cover part of their travel expenses as a result of previously placing in the top three at the U.S. Collegiate Crops Contests in Kansas City and Chicago last November. Additional sponsors of the K-State team were Kansas Grain Sorghum, Kansas Corn, Syngenta, and the K-State Department of Agronomy. The College of Agriculture also provided an international travel scholarship to the K-State students.

The trip was a combination of work, learning and sightseeing, which also proved educational for the students.

The competition portion spanned three days at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus. The contest included a seed identification section, three exams over production of selected Australian crops, a business management problem, field yield estimates and management recommendations, and a live crop, weed and disease evaluation component.

Before the competition, the group spent a day touring tropical agriculture in Queensland, learning about bananas, coffee, avocados, and sugarcane, and visited a large grain farm in South Australia featuring mixed cropping of wheat, canola and pulses. After the contest, they visited a sheep farm, a cherry orchard, a vineyard, and an apple orchard and processing facility in the Adelaide Hills area. They also travelled to Kangaroo Island, visiting grain farms and KI Pure Grain, the island’s major cooperative grain handling and export business. Learning about canola and Australian white wheat production, ryegrass herbicide resistance problems, and the use of pulse crops such as lentils and fava beans in crop rotations were highlights for the U.S. teams.

The students also took a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef at Cairns, with a visit to Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House on the trip to Adelaide. After the contest, they spent two days touring Kangaroo Island. Highlights were observing the majestic coastal rock formations, beaches with seals and dolphins, and kangaroos and koala bears in the wild.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture recently announced additional label restrictions for the 2020 growing season for dicamba. Agriculture Director John Sullivan announced the rules due to a dramatic rise in the number of off-target complaints received during the 2019 growing season, adding “the department is taking action to reduce those numbers.”

The new restrictions halt the use of dicamba after June 20, 2020. The new regulations also prohibit the application of dicamba if the air temperature at the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application exceeds 85 degrees.

Applicators also must maintain the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site. In addition to these provisions’, applicators must follow the federal guidelines when it comes to applying dicamba, including taking an annual certified applicator training course.