In Arkansas, irrigated soybeans yielded 33 percent higher than dryland beans, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the value of in-state irrigated cropland is $1,300 per acre more than non-irrigated. Further, rice is another important crop for Arkansas that is very water intensive. However, running pumps adds input costs and groundwater is a limited resource. A collaborative effort among the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the County Conservation Districts has increased educational efforts on Irrigation Water Management practices across all row crops. These educational efforts made substantial economic impacts and led to long-term sustainability of aquifers and other natural resources. The efforts resulted in a 63 percent savings in energy, 50 percent reduction in water use, and $46.66 savings per acre of rice.
For more information, contact Dianne Ashburn, University of Arkansas
NIFA supports the Cooperative Extension Service.
Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.