"We grow some crops that are pretty heavy in their water demands, corn, popcorn being a classic example of that. So those are important issues for good water management. Water resource management is also important to us. And by and large, I think the agricultural community is doing and has consistently done a very poor job of water management. And that's not to say that what we're doing is better. We're trying to improve but we've still got a long ways to go. But we started metering – putting meters on wells and monitoring how we were using water – in '76 when, you know, you weren't required to do it. Nobody was asking you to do it. We've been trying to find ways to conserve and reduce water consumption since then. I know a lot of that has to do with how we develop our cropping rotations and our cropping systems. And you know, when other technologies came along our farm wasn't conducive to a center pivot irrigation which was supposed to be more efficient. I don't believe that it is entirely, at least based on our results here. And so we do a lot of furrow irrigation. And when we have surge valves available, we put surge valves in to improve our water management. And since then we've put 60 acres of subsurface drip in, which reduces the water usage even more. But probably a bigger short-term impact for us is the energy savings and in terms of having to pump that much less water. And plus the nice thing is it gives you uniform distribution over the full field at the same time…
     "We use evapotranspiration gauges. We use the soil probes. We use those when we do varied reading and scheduling. And that technology has changed so much the last few years I can't even remember the names of them anymore. My brother in law does all that. And in some of the technology when they were testing it we'd been working closely with the university and the NRD and so we've been evaluating and looking at some of the major methods we've always had one on the farm."

Dave Vetter – Mining Water


Excerpts from Dave Vetter’s Interview:

Food as a Weapon?
Government Subsidies
Sustainable Agriculture
Organic Agriculture
The Chemical Age
Organic Ag & Pests
Implements Through the Ages