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- 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.
Technology also helps maintain an efficient fertility program, Seidenberger says. “Fertility is especially important in drip irrigation. We knife in 200 pounds of 10-34-0-5 to get phosphorus in before planting.”
On dryland, moisture may dictate fertility. “If we have moisture we try to knife in a high nitrogen blend — that’s all it will get.”
Furrow and pivot systems get the same pre-plant fertility as drip, but furrow-irrigated fields don’t get in-season nitrogen applications. “We inject nitrogen through the pivot and drip systems. We’ve used pretty much the same thing for the past six years, but we’re looking at soil samples, accompanied by petiole testing to determine how much to inject. We want to see if we can save a little on fertilizer.”
He’s also considering variable rate application technology to further refine his fertility program. “I’m working with Helena to knife in fertilizer, using a Veris Rig as a base for pre-plant fertility. I want to do more with variable rate application; I’m just getting started.”
He uses some aerial imagery to improve efficiency of plant growth regulatorsand harvest aids with variable rate aerial applications. “Then we’ll add yield monitors and field maps to identify soils that need more fertilizer.”