Across the country farmers are looking for innovative ways to conserve water while maintaining or boosting crop yields, and leading farmers are helping others manage water more efficiently. Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District members in Southwest Georgia have used a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia to partner with other like-minded groups to advance technology available for water conservation. Through this grant, they were able to develop a new tool for Irrigator Pro. It’s an app that allows farmers to access irrigation water management practices right from their mobile device.
For those not familiar with Irrigator Pro, it’s an irrigation scheduling tool for peanuts, cotton, and corn first developed by theAgricultural Research Service’s National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia. The Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District partnered with the ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory and the University of Georgia to develop a smartphone app and cloud-based web platform for Irrigator Pro.
The new version, supported through that Conservation Innovation Grant, takes information from the old version and integrates it with modern technology to automate the process. Data is retrieved remotely from sensors in the field and automatically sent to the Irrigator Pro server, generating a real-time irrigation recommendation on the app.