Department of Agriculture is dedicating another $1 million dollars in
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program dollars in the Equus Beds,
District Manager Tim Boese said.
District irrigators have until Feb. 15 to apply for the AWEP program through the local NRCS office, Boese said.
2010, more than $2.8 million has been allotted to the district to
improve irrigation systems, including helping convert 2,290 acres to
center pivots and another 3,011 acres to subsurface drip systems.
"This is good - that's what we are after, to give them an opportunity to become more efficient."
The program has drawn even more interest with the drought, he said.
irrigation is considered, on average, about 60 percent efficient.
Center pivot systems average between 85 to 95 percent efficient,
depending on the nozzle pressure. Drip tape is the most efficient at 98
percent, he said.
Big Bend GMD No. 5 was funded for a five-year
period beginning in 2010. The NRCS and the district are addressing
inefficient water use with financial assistance to remove end guns from
center-pivot irrigation systems and convert those acres to non-irrigated
or dryland farming. The end guns help irrigate
corners of a field and aren't efficient. Removing them helps reduce
water use. The project area is in the Rattlesnake Creek Sub-basin.
Southwest Kansas GMD No. 3 is using the AWEP program to address water
quantity concerns by converting irrigation cropland to dryland acreage
and reducing irrigation water use. Eligible areas are parts of Finney,
Ford, Grant, Gray, Haskell, Kearny, Meade, Morton, Seward, Stanton and