Quaker Research Farm adds high-tech irrigation system
A new $80,000 state-of-the art subsurface drip irrigation system that allows several independent experiments to be conducted simultaneously has been installed at Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ Quaker Avenue Research Farm.
“We believe that the new research capacity with this system will have a lasting and significant impact on water conservation and the continued development of drought tolerant crops in our region,” said Thomas Thompson, chairman of the Department of Plant and Soil Science.
The irrigation system will address critical research, educational and outreach needs of the Department of Plant and Soil Science, he said. The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District provided $40,000 in grant funds that were matched with $40,000 in institutional funds to help complete the project.
The system, which has 46 zones, will determine if reduced application rates for crop inputs, such as fertilizer, herbicides, and insecticides, are possible with subsurface drip irrigation.
In addition, the irrigation system will facilitate research in:
• Evaluation transgenic crop varieties
• Performance of alternative crops
• Investigation of crop drought tolerance
• Development and research on new plant varieties with improved agronomic water use efficiencies
• And, improved irrigation and chemigation management with subsurface drip irrigation.