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Technicians monitor telemetry equipment in a peanut field. Link to photo information
Technicians Jess Childre (left) and Kathy Gray monitor telemetry equipment used to validate Irrigator Pro recommendations for a crop of peanuts. Click the image for more information about it.

Irrigator Pro Software Helps Manage Crops More Effectively

By Sharon Durham
November 4, 2005

Managing irrigation and controlling pests while growing peanuts can be more effective using a computer program called Irrigator Pro. Developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists, Irrigator Pro is part of a collection of software called FarmSuite, which continues to provide accurate information to farmers as it’s updated with new data.

Irrigator Pro versions for cotton and corn have also been developed and are currently being validated in research trials to provide growers recommendations on scheduling irrigation for those crops.

Researchers at the ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., are conducting long-term, multicrop research at a farm location to define the best irrigation management practices for growers of peanuts, corn and cotton. The study has completed the fourth year of a 15-year study to determine the impact of irrigation, crop rotation and price on profitability. Data from this study is imported into the software each growing season.

Retired mechanical engineer James Davidson collaborated with peanut farmers and the Peanut Foundation to create Irrigator Pro in the late 1980s.

Irrigator Pro's goal is to improve economic returns for irrigated peanut production and reduce risk associated with foreign material, immaturity, off-flavor, chemical residues, negative environmental impact and aflatoxin. More than 20 years of scientific research data and information are incorporated in the software to help peanut farmers make informed, appropriate irrigation decisions.

This software became the progenitor of a collection of software systems that would help farmers do their jobs, according to ARS research leader Marshall Lamb in Dawson.

Read more about the research in the November 2005 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

ARS is U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research agency.