Utah State Extension in Emery County: Saving Water and Money
Old habits die hard, but Ferron farmers like Tracy Behling are learning the benefits of sprinkling versus flood irrigation.
"At least 50 percent of our water was going to waste by either soaking into the ground before it got to the farm or running off into other fields," Behling says. "Now, even in a water short year, there was enough water to plant four crops of alfalfa instead of three. Profits are up."
Emery County Extension agricultural agent Dennis Worwood was part of a team of agencies that helped secure $16 million to help framers convert from flood irrigation to sprinklers. The money was part of the Colorado River salinity project. By reducing flood irrigation, not only do framers save water but they also reduce the amount of farm field salt from running off into the Colorado River. Worwood also instructed local farmers on the technical aspects of using their new equipment.
"I’ve seen a lot more enthusiasm for farming in the area," Behling says. "People are cleaning up their fields and taking more pride in their farms."