What is in this article?:
- Perseverance, efficiency are keys for SW High Cotton winner
- Terraces and waterways
- GPS is crucial
- Water savings
- Good year
- Eric Seidenberger is farming 2,950 acres — 2,150 in cotton, the rest in wheat, and also grazes Angus cattle on 3,000 acres of pasture. He irrigates 1,225 acres, 1,000 with subsurface drip, has a 125-acre pivot, and furrow waters 100 acres. He plans to put in another 100 acres of drip for the 2011 season.
- He installed his first drip irrigation in 2003, a 45-acre block. He says drip offers three distinct advantages: High Yields, Water use efficiency and Less labor.
Terraces and waterways
The next 100 acres of drip will go on pivot irrigated fields, Seidenberger says. “We’ll maintain some furrow-irrigation in bottom land that’s prone to wash with heavy rains. Some acreage we have to leave out of drip because of potential erosion. We’ve addedterraces and grassed waterways.”
Bottom land and rolling fields are prone to erosion, “So, we need waterways and terraces on 90 percent of our bottom land. We’ve grassed most of our waterways.”
One pivot field has a 19-foot drop from one end to the other, and “We have to maintain erosion control in that field. Before we built waterways, we got a six-inch rain one night that washed out 90 percent of our beds. The field was totally flat. I knew I needed waterways; they’ve made a ton of difference.”
Terraces direct water to one central waterway and into a nearby creek. “Conservation just makes good sense,” he says. “We have a lot of rolling land in the Garden City area and it needs erosion control.”
Seidenberger has adopted other technology to improve efficiency. Transgenic seed play an important role in his production. He plants Phytogen 375 WRF and 440W and FiberMax 9160, 9170 and 1740, all BGII varieties.
“I also plant a test plot for Delta and Pine Land. I’ve done that for 15 years. And I switch varieties every year or two — varieties change fast as they develop new technology.”