ReachOut: El Niño Means…

Mike Zwingman

Mike Zwingman

It’s official.  El Niño.

What El Niño typically means for us is a wet spring and drier June and July.  So. before you even start your planter, take a second and think about irrigation.

Lower corn prices make irrigation costlier to us—El Niño makes irrigation a certainty for us.  We can make the two facts live in harmony with one another by thinking about what we can start doing now to increase our irrigation efficiency.  Things like if you really need to run that disk a third time.  (Or a second, or even a first, people.)   Things like your strategy for the season.  (When will you start?  What will your schedule be?  What accuracy will you aim for?  Does your plan involve a probe?)  Things like how science might assist your best intentions.

Maybe you’re thinking that you’ve survived El Niño before, so what’s so special about this one?  The answer is that there’s nothing special about this one.  What’s “special” this time around is that water is big news right now.  Growers in New Mexico are scrapping their acres and selling them to towns.  The entire almond crop in the San Joaquin Valley is in limbo as California cities cry foul about the water required to raise it amid the state’s record drought.  Water is a big deal here in 2015.

ReachOut: El Niño Means… from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

And the conversation about water conservation isn’t going away.  The times, friends, they are a-changing.  I don’t say this to alarm you at all, but rather to engage you in the thought process, to inspire in you a game plan.  How we manage our water is a topic we’ll have to wrestle with, and sometimes publicly, for the rest of our careers.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Water is a precious resource and our good stewardship of it is a feather in our cap.

Fortunately, we’ve been hard at work at this already.  Y’all do a pretty fine job of managing your water usage as is, but we at Central Valley Agronomy, want to take that “pretty fine” and make it “smoking hot.”  You’re already in good shape—we want to make you ripped.

Water is absolutely central in our RD Series, and we’ve considered it as such every step of the way.  We will bring all we’ve learned to bear on your operation.  Soil hydraulics isn’t just a theory but an actual thing—we will bring this science to bear on your operation as well.  All in the name of water efficiency.  From start to finish, we will talk to you about every decision you make and its effect on your water use.Blue Box

It’s the perfect time to master your form regarding your water usage.  El Niño beckons you to do so.  The news beckons you.  Your crops.  Your wallet.  You don’t have to listen over hard to hear them.  So as the weather gets ever nicer, and I know you’re just itching to jump in that saddle, stop for a moment and think.

Think about all the water that every seed you’re about to sink into that black soil will need in a month, two, three.

Think about improving your usage.

Think about perfecting it.