Editorial message Managing many hats

Growing up in rural areas of the Midwest, I was able to see production agriculture in action. I saw firsthand how growers and ranchers have to wear many different hats from day to day as they manage their operations. From accounting manager to maintenance engineer and CEO to soil scientist, those involved in production agriculture have to know a lot about a lot.

For many, the title of irrigation expert can be added to that list of responsibilities. It may be just one aspect of your business; however, it is an important element due to the cost of inputs and equipment and because it involves the use of a natural resource.

With such a lengthy job description, growers look for ways to manage all of these hats more efficiently, while consuming less time and, of course, improving profitability.

This month’s issue of Irrigation Today focuses on two different ways to help manage your irrigation hat.

Knowing when and how long to irrigate are loaded questions, but they are a cornerstone of a successful crop. In this issue, experts in irrigation scheduling offer their insight on this important piece of the puzzle. Read about irrigation scheduling best practices, tools and technologies, as well as considerations for surface irrigation scheduling.

By Anne Blankenbiller Irrigation Today Editor-in-Chief

With such a lengthy job description, growers look for ways to manage all of these hats more efficiently, while consuming less time and, of course, improving profitability.

Published by: Irrigation Association 8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Dr. Suite 400 Fairfax, VA 22031-4511 USA Tel 703.536.7080 Fax 703.536.7019

Publisher Deborah M. Hamlin, CAE, FASAE 4 Irrigation TODAY | April 2019

Editor-in-Chief Anne Blankenbiller anneblankenbiller@

Art Director Trisha Klaus

Technical Advisor Brent Q. Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CLIA, CAIS

This issue also tackles the use of big data in agriculture and irrigation. This term is bantered about in our industry yet still tends to be a bit of an unknown. Having the benefit of additional data to help make decisions can be of enormous benefit. Gathering big data is somewhat of a more modern version of growers sharing their struggles and successes at the local grain elevator or coffee shop.

The use of big data has only scratched the surface, and it will be interesting to watch this tool grow and become more valuable in the future.

We hope the information in this issue is beneficial to you and your operation. Perhaps it will help make one of your many hats fit a little better.

If you have comments or suggestions about Irrigation Today or an idea for what you would like to see covered in a future issue, please feel free to contact me at

The irrigation resource for today’s growers

Account Managers Eric Anderson

Tom Schoen

Alan Scott

For specific information about account manager sales territories, please see pg. 34.

Editorial Committee Chair Bill S. Thornton Watertronics

Editorial Committee Brian P. Frerich, CID Eco-Drip Irrigation Supply Inc.

Charles Hillyer, PhD Irrigation for the Future

Diann Ilkenhons Senninger Irrigation Inc.

Jacob Knipp Reinke Manufacturing Co. Inc.

Michael A. Noftle, CAIS, CID Ideal Design Solutions LLC

Jim Phene Epiphene Inc.

Jackie (Jay) W.D. Robbins II, PE, TSP, CAIS, CID Irrigation-Mart Inc.

Stephen W. Smith, PhD, FASIC, CAIS, CLIA Past Chair Principal, Wade Water LLC

Contributors Dan Burgard, CPSS John Farner Jay M. Ham, PhD Chris Henry, PhD, PE Todd Janzen Isaya Kisekka, PhD George Oamek, PhD R. Troy Peters, PE, PhD Peter Robinson, PE Astrid Vreugdenhil Mary Elizabeth Williams- Villano

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