Farmers can seek both technical and monetary assistance from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve irrigation efficiency.
Danielle Whaley, NRCS district conservationist in Caddo County, explained some of the available programs to farmers attending the recent Oklahoma Irrigation Conference in Fort Cobb. She said the Conservation Stewardship Program is a five-year program that rewards farmers for past good work on conservation. Improving irrigation systems is part of that program. Possibilities include irrigation pumping plant evaluation, efficiency testing and remote monitoring and notification technology.
She said farmers also may use the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to improve irrigation efficiency—upgrading from high pressure to low pressure irrigation, for instance.
“To qualify, the land must be irrigated three out of the last five years,’ Whaley said. EQIP is a cost-share system and funding depends on a statewide and county ranking system.