Irrigation Water Quality Protection
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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Clean Water Fund > Groundwater & Drinking Water Protection > Irrigation Water Quality Protection

Irrigation Specialist Position

Clean Water Funds are being used to support an Extension position thJoshua Stamper, Irrigation Specialist, University of Minnesota Extensionat was phased out at the University of Minnesota several years before the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment was passed. Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen Best Management Practices (BMPs). This position provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. The individual is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.

The absence of an Irrigation Specialist was identified as a critical need by the irrigation community and other ag stakeholders. During the 2011 Forum on Minnesota Irrigated Agriculture, the lack of an irrigation specialist at the University of Minnesota was one of the most important issues discussed.

University of Minnesota
439 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108-6028

Tasks for Irrigation Extension Specialist

Short Term Goals (2014-2015) 

  • Develop an Extension Advisory group to provide input on how to shape Extension programming.
  • Provide technical assistance to agencies and local units of government on irrigation water management.
  • Expand and update evapotranspiration (ET) weather stations and irrigation scheduling tools to meet current needs and technology.
  • Develop new crop coefficients to enable growers to gauge crop water needs more accurately based off of modern ET data.
  • Collaborate with public and private entities to demonstrate the integration of real-time technology and tools to help protect and conserve groundwater resources.

Additional Long Term Goals (2015-2020)

  • Collaborate on the integration of real time climate data into web based and mobile device applications.
  • Develop “smart” irrigation scheduling tools that allow growers to rapidly and easily determine crop water needs.
  • Develop a “Master Irrigator” educational curriculum.

MDA Contact

Bruce Montgomery
Fertilizer Section Manager ~  651-201-6178