Ahtanum Irrigation District has big plans. The Ahtanum Valley–based district is unique in owning part of its own watershed, but a lack of storage means that it can’t take advantage of all the water it should receive. In our cover story, Sam Hull, a member of Ahtanum’s board of directors, explains the preparations the district is making to build a reservoir and a pressurized pipe system.
Much of the rest of this issue highlights Husker Harvest Days, the largest outdoor irrigation farm show in the United States. Every year, farmers and irrigation professionals from the United States and abroad come to Grand Island, Nebraska, to see the newest technological developments in their field. This month, Irrigation Leader gives you a look at the show’s history and the innovations that are still being showcased there every year.
Tyler Harris, the editor of Nebraska Farmer, recounts the history of his venerable magazine—which is older than the state of Nebraska—and how it helped found Husker Harvest Days in the late 1970s. Greg Terjesen tells us about the Tribine—an immense combine–grain cart combination that was designed and built in only 6 months. John Cates of Irrigation Revolution explains his Xtra-X track system, which debuted at Husker Harvest Days 2017. Ashley Anderson, Craig Bell, and Chris Righter tell us about Valley Irrigation’s software platforms, variable rate irrigation systems, and pivot drive systems. We also speak with Bob Gills of Agri-Inject about the potential for expanding the use of chemigation, and we profile Degelman Industries’ line of rock pickers.
Finally, we talk to Jim Wood of the Imperial Valley Conservation Research Center about a nontechnological kind of innovation: the potential large-scale development of hemp in the Imperial Valley of California.
Whether it takes the form of iron in the field or fields of hemp, innovation continues to change the face of irrigation across the United States. We hope that this issue of Irrigation Leader helps you keep up to date on the newest developments in the irrigation industry.
Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader magazine and president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at Kris.Polly@waterstrategies.com.