Submitted to: Irrigation Association Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2010
Publication Date: 12/5/2010
Citation: Marek, T., Scherer, T., Porter, D., Rogers, D., Henggeler, J., Howell, T.A. 2010. What will it take to get irrigators to use advisory programs? Lessons learned from the past 10 years and beyond. In: Proceedings of the 5th Decennial National Irrigation Symposium, December 5-8, 2010, Phoenix, Arizona. Paper No:IRR10-9683.2010 CDROM. Interpretive Summary: Irrigation advisory programs are widely used in many states in the United States. Their main purposes have been to promote irrigation scheduling to conserve water and increase profitability. Typically, these programs have realized marginal success without strong, long-term financial support. This paper summarizes several issues learned by experience in a number of states in the adoption of irrigation scheduling tools and advanced management methods. The results are presented to emphasize the complexities, user's needs and viewpoints, simplicity of use, presentation format, timeliness, and application to producer needs.
Technical Abstract: Research and Extension personnel have developed irrigation advisory programs for decades. With irrigation sources evermore becoming limited, recent conservation and management strategies among numerous water conscious agencies include the development or redevelopment and strong promotion of irrigation scheduling and associated advisory programs as strategies to promote water conservation and increased water use efficiency. Previous attempts to promote and implement adoption of these programs and tools have realized only marginal success at best, even in intensively irrigated areas. This article addresses issues learned from several states in dealing with adoption of irrigation program tools and management technologies. Items such as multi-user and multi-viewpoint development, complexity of programs, ease of use, dissemination of multiple formats, informational timelines, and producer applicability are discussed.