Irrigation Leader
  • Featured,  Interview

    Central Platte NRD’s Successful Groundwater Management Program

    Like many irrigated farming areas across the United States, the Central Platte Natural Resources District (NRD) faced problems with nitrate pollution in its groundwater. With the district’s shallow water table and widespread use of flood irrigation, fertilizer was leaching into the groundwater at levels that were detrimental to human health. Through education and regulation, Central Platte NRD has successfully turned the corner, and nitrate levels are now decreasing. In this interview, Central Platte NRD General Manager Lyndon Vogt tells Irrigation Leader about how his NRD managed to address the nitrate issue and provides his advice for other groundwater managers facing similar issues.

  • Featured,  Interview

    How Costco’s Fremont Poultry Facility Protects Local Groundwater

    Costco is known and loved for its $5 rotisserie chickens. In order to better provide this popular item, Costco has recently moved beyond simply supplying chickens to actually raising them. To do this, it established an enormous chicken operation— including a hatchery, a feed mill, a processing facility, and a network of local farmers who raise the poultry—in and around Fremont, Nebraska. It will eventually produce 2 million chickens a week. With such a large facility coming into the area, some locals were concerned about issues including the amount of chicken litter, or manure, that the poultry would create and its potential effects on groundwater. In this interview, Jessica Kolterman…

  • Featured,  Innovator,  Interview

    Fighting Groundwater Nitrate Contamination in the Bazile Groundwater Management Area

    Like many agricultural areas with sandy soils, northeastern Nebraska deals with nitrate from fertilizer leaching into its groundwater. In one region in particular, nitrate levels have risen to such a level that they threaten the health of the residents of 10 rural communities that are fully dependent on groundwater for their drinking supplies. In response, the four natural resources districts (NRDs) whose territories overlap this area have decided to work together to address nitrate pollution in the area they have designated the Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA). By joining forces and funds and applying for federal and state grants, they are supporting mitigation activities like education and awareness raising, reporting…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Oroville-Tonasket’s Drought Year Water Bank

    Oroville-Tonasket Irrigation District (OTID), located in north-central Washington State, enjoys senior water supplies from its sources in Lake Osoyoos and the Okanagan River. However, the region has undergone droughts in recent years, resulting in curtailment for junior water right holders. In order to make use of the water available to it and to help those without a reliable water supply, OTID has set up a water bank under which it can first protect, then lease a portion of its unused water to interested customers in the Okanogan River basin and downstream along the mainstem Columbia River. In the short term, the water will be leased to help offset the district’s…

  • Featured,  Innovator,  Interview

    Besler Industries’ Durable Pickup Flatbeds

    Nebraska-based Besler Industries is a family-owned company that builds bale loaders, pivot track closers, tillage equipment, and other machines well known to irrigated farmers. Another of its most popular products is its pickup truck flatbed. The flatbeds are customizable and can accommodate a number of modular boxes according to the user’s needs. Best of all, they’re so durable that they often outlive the trucks they’re installed on. Besler’s flatbeds will be of interest to any irrigation district or organization with a fleet of pickups.  In this interview, Herb Besler, the owner of Besler Industries; Roland Besler, the production manager; and Cliff Kester, the inside sales manager, speak with Irrigation Leader…

  • Featured,  Innovator,  Interview

    Dawson Tire’s Mighty RhinoGator Tire

    Dawson Tire and Wheel, based in Gothenburg, Nebraska, is well known for its irrigation tires and wheels. Its most famous product is quite recognizable: the bright green polyethylene RhinoGator pivot tire. The solid RhinoGator will never go flat or fill with water or mud, and it is also UV protected. In this interview, Eric MacPherson, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Dawson Tire and Wheel, speaks with Irrigation Leader about his company and how he developed the RhinoGator tire.

  • Featured,  Interview

    Are Goats the Answer to Your Maintenance Needs?

    The term goatscaping often elicits a quizzical look and a half smile, followed by the question, “What?” While the word isn’t in the dictionary and has nothing to do with scapegoats, it’s well known among land managers. Goatscaping is the centuries-old technique of using goats to maintain property. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    In-Situ’s Flow Meters: A Practical Choice for Farmers and Irrigators

    Founded 40 years ago and originally focused on water level measurement for the mining industry, the Fort Collins, Colorado-based company In-Situ has recently moved decisively into the fields of flow monitoring and water quality solutions for industrial, agricultural, wastewater, and storm water clients. Recent research and development work and strategic acquisitions, including that of the Australian company MACE, have filled out In-Situ’s array of ultrasonic flow meters, data loggers, and controllers. In-Situ’s MACE flow meters and Doppler A/V sensors are particularly promising as practical alternatives to mag meters for farmers and irrigation managers. Timothy Hicks is a flow expert who recently became a business development manager for agriculture at In-Situ.…

  • Featured,  Interview

    How to Successfully Use Data Analytics to Make HR Decisions

    Human resources (HR) is an important field for any organization, irrigation districts included. Finding the right employees and making sure they are performing at the top of their abilities is crucial to an organization’s success. While gut instinct always plays a role in personnel decisions, data analytics are playing an increasingly important role as well. If done correctly, recording and analyzing data about the hiring process and about employee performance can give managers important information about how to improve their organizations’ performance. In this interview, Diane Campanile, the director of human capital management and employer compliance at Lyons Insurance, tells Irrigation Leader about the promise and pitfalls of collecting, storing,…