Conservation through Innovation

UGA Stripling Irrigation Research Park Field Day and Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District Regional Technology Conference

Photographs courtesy of Candace Grey (UGA SIRP) and Casey Cox (Flint River SWCD)

CAMILLA, GA – On July 8, 2015 the University of Georgia Stripling Irrigation Research Park and Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District hosted a joint Field Day and Regional Technology Conference.

Nearly 150 people attended the event in Camilla. Speakers included researchers, scientists, graduate students, and state leaders. The purpose of the event was to highlight the innovative research conducted at the UGA Stripling Park as well as new and emerging conservation-driven technology practices. Covering a diverse spectrum of topics, attendees learned about new irrigation tools, the latest UGA Research trials, and conservation programs from the day’s presenters, which included UGA faculty and graduate students as well as government and industry representatives.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall gave the keynote address, updating the audience on current agricultural events and concerns at the state and national level. Additionally, an overview of Farm Bill conservation programs was provided by guest speaker Terrance Rudolph, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Georgia State Conservationist.

The field tours highlighted many topics of interest, including the following:

  • A pilot project conducted by UGA and Valley, comparing root demand irrigation (RDI) with subsurface drip irrigation (SDI)
  • Irrigation and nutrient management for peanuts and cotton
  • The new Claiborne Aquifer irrigation well at the Stripling Park.
  • Advanced irrigation scheduling for peanuts and cotton
  • Smart irrigation apps available for smartphone devices
  • Fungicide application on corn and chemigation for cotton
  • Irrigation timing and effects of cover crops for cotton
  • Plant-based irrigation scheduling and crop tolerance to temperature and drought

Special topics included a presentation on remote pivot control by AgSense, an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) demonstration, and a discussion of sesame production.

This year’s Field Day was a great success. The record turnout was largely attributable to our partnership with the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District for a combined Field Day and Regional Technology Conference. We look forward to partnering together for this event in the future.
— Calvin Perry, UGA Stripling Irrigation Research Park Superintendent