Lincoln, Neb. —What are the irrigation water and weather outlooks for the 2022 growing season? Detailed forecasts will be provided by expert speakers at this year’s Yonts Water Conference, scheduled for April 12 in Gering.
In addition, there’s a chance to “meet and greet” representatives of irrigation districts, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the North Platte NRD, and other agencies and organizations who regularly have contact with irrigators in the Panhandle. Many of these representatives are fairly new in their positions.
Research that affects irrigation also will be spotlighted, including an on-farm network of field-level crop water sensors, fertilizer nitrogen management, and real-time water quality testing in the North Platte River Basin.
The 2022 conference, organized by a regional group of water stakeholders, will take place Tuesday, April 12 at the Gering Civic Center. Lunch will be included. Registration takes place from 8-8:30 a.m. and the first presentation begins at 8:30. Lunch will be served at noon, following the last presentation.
The spring water conference for the North Platte Valley is named in honor of the late Dean Yonts, UNL Irrigation Specialist who helped start the event. It is a good opportunity for anybody, including but not limited to irrigators, to learn more about where irrigation water comes from; how it is governed and regulated; the infrastructure that delivers it; challenges and opportunities facing irrigators; and the irrigation water supply outlook for 2022.
There is no charge to attend, but space is limited and registration is needed by April 7. To register online, go to https://go.unl.edu/yonts . To register by phone, call 308-632-1230.
More information, including a link to register and information for interested vendors: https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/panhandle/yonts-water-conference/
The Yonts Water Conference is organized by the North Platte River Water for Agriculture Committee, made up of representatives from Nebraska Extension, local irrigation districts, the North Platte Natural Resources District, agricultural producers, area businesses, and wildlife groups.
The tentative list of topics and presenters:
2021 Water Outlook and Drought Monitor Update, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Mills, Wyo.
Spring-summer weather outlook, Don Day, Day Weather.
Meet the agencies and district reps: Rick Miller, Pathfinder Irrigation District; Rick Preston, Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation District; Kevin Adams, Farmers Irrigation District; Scott Schaneman, North Platte NRD; James Ostdiek, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources; Kevin Strecker, Goshen Irrigation District; and possibly others.
Research updates: Bijesh Maharjan, Xin Qiao, and Anni Poetzl, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.