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Enhancing knowledge and facilitating adoption of irrigation water management practices through education
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2023 Authors: Russell D., Gholson D.
Prior research has shown that implementing irrigation water management practices can reduce total water applied while maintaining or improving crop yield and profitability. However, to effectively utilize these proven practices, a complex understanding of the soil-water-crop dynamics and the irrigation scheduling tools and technologies is required. Modeled after the award-winning Master Irrigator Program from the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District in Dumas, Texas, the Mississippi Master Irrigator Program is designed to educate producers on soil health, agronomics, irrigation scheduling, irrigation systems and equipment maintenance, the economics of irrigated agriculture, and policy and management. This course will be delivered through a hybrid approach consisting of online modules and in-person training and demonstration activities. The course is also designed to facilitate peer-to-peer engagement and to inform producers of the numerous resources available to them. Instructors for the online modules and in-person training events will be MSU Extension Specialists, as well as other individuals/entities with specialized experience in each of the program topics. Once the online modules are complete, the online portion of the course will be available for registration. Participants will be required to complete prerequisite modules to be eligible for the in-person training. This presentation will focus on the development and implantation of a new Extension education program designed to equip producers with the knowledge they need to make the right irrigation water management decisions that improve soil health, water use efficiency and conservation, and profitability on their operation.