UACES Facebook 2023 irrigation schools set for Feb. 24, March 3
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2023 irrigation schools set for Feb. 24, March 3

“Last year’s drought is a good reason for farmers to step up their irrigation game.” — Chris Henry

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Feb. 20, 2023

Fast facts

  • Two surge valve, soil moisture schools scheduled
  • Feb. 24 session in Lon Mann station, Marianna
  • March 3 to be at Jackson County Extension Center

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(Newsrooms: with file art )

STUTTGART, Ark. — Two irrigation schools covering surge valves and soil sensor use are scheduled for Feb. 24 and March 3, according to Chris Henry, professor and water management engineer for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“Last year’s drought is a good reason for farmers to step up their irrigation game,” Henry said. “Using surge valves and soil moisture sensors will help farmers conserve water and be ready to use the water when and where it’s needed most.

Irrigation School images
IRRIGATION SCHOOLS — Two schools planned to help farmers manage irrigation more efficiently.

The sessions will cover how surge valve functions and how to use them to improve irrigation. Participants also will learn how to properly program and design a computerized hole selection plan using Pipe Planner or surge irrigation. The second half of the school is practical application, where participants will program valves for different conditions.

“The soil moisture school provides an understanding of how the sensors work and how to use them to schedule irrigation,” Henry said.

Registration ends two days before each school. There is no cost to attend, but there is an option to purchase four sensors, a reader and a slide hammer: or just the four sensors. Space will be limited to 20 participants with a minimum of 10 required to hold the school. Walk-ins will be accepted if there is room.

The Feb. 24 session will be held at the Lon Mann Cotton Station, 3121 Highway 1 South in Marianna. To register contact the Lee, Monroe, Phillips or St. Francis county extension offices, or Robert Goodson at 870-995-4505 or Extension Irrigation Program Associate Russ Parker at 870-636-1329.

The March 3 session will be held at the Jackson County Extension Center, 649 Jackson 917, Newport. Contact the Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Poinsett and Woodruff county offices or Parker at 870-636-1329.

The agenda for each school:

  • 9 a.m. — Surge school begins
  • 9:45 a.m. — Hands-on surge controller work
  • 11 a.m. — Soil sensor school begins
  • Noon — Lunch provided
  • 1 p.m. — Hands-on work with soil moisture sensors
  • 2:30 pm. — Soil sensor installation
  • 3 p.m. — Adjourn

Henry and Parker will be instructors for both sessions.

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact Russ Parker at 870-636-1329 as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

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