09-21-16 The BARN/SLY Media: SIEP Grand Opening near Kersey, CO…

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(The BARN – SLY Media – Kersey, CO) September 23, 2016 – Reporter Kayla Young and videographer Alvaro Serey attended the Grand Opening @ the Subsurface Irrigation Efficiency Project (SIEP) just east of Kersey, CO on Septmeber 21st. The Subsurface Irrigation Efficiency Project (SIEP) focuses on the use of new technologies to increase water efficiencies in commercial agriculture and residential turf growth. SIEP is sponsored by Jewish Colorado, Colorado State University, the United Water and Sanitation District, and the Platte River Water Development Authority.

Listen to Kayla’s audio report from the event…

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Check out the video recap courtesy of Alvaro Serey…

Pictured: Ron von Lembke, Rep. Lori Saine, Sen. Mark Scheffel, Gilbert Marin, Gilbert Marin Jr., Jason von Lembke, Sen. Mary Hodge and Bob Lembke.

Posing, left to right, are Ron von Lembke, Rep. Lori Saine, Sen. Mark Scheffel, Gilbert Marin, Gilbert Marin Jr., Jason von Lembke, Sen. Mary Hodge and Bob Lembke

MORE PICTURES BELOW COURTESY OF SLY MEDIA

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Attendees mingle before touring sorghum and alfalfa test plots managed by the Subsurface Irrigation Efficiency Project and Colorado State University.

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United Water and Sanitation District President Bob Lembke speaks at the grand opening of an irrigation research facility east of Kersey, Colo.

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Ron von Lembke of the Platte River Water Development Authority discusses the future of irrigation in Colorado.

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Jason von Lembke holds a subsurface drip irrigation strip, designed by Israeli company Netafim to deliver water directly to plant roots.

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE

The Subsurface Irrigation Efficiency Project (SIEP) focuses on the use of new technologies to increase water efficiencies in commercial agriculture and residential turf growth. SIEP is sponsored by Jewish Colorado, Colorado State University, the United Water and Sanitation District, and the Platte River Water Development Authority.

Goal:   To find innovative solutions that will help balance the state’s increased demand for water while preserving our agricultural heritage.
Facts:

  • SIEP is a 185 acre facility, six miles east of Kersey, Colorado directly adjacent to Highway 34.
  • There are 82.5 acres of Netafim’s subsurface drip irrigation system installed at the site broken out into 19 ~4 acre plots
  • The project is managed by professors and graduate students from Colorado State University, with planting and harvesting performed by 70 Ranch employees.
  • First year’s crop yielded 215 tons of Sorghum Sudangrass irrigated with only 43.35 acre-feet of water. Sorghum’s typical fully irrigated crop requirement is 2 acre-feet per acre (164 acre feet equivalent on SIEP farm) using a traditional pivot and between 2.6 and 3 acre-feet per acre (up to 240 acre feet equivalent on the SIEP farm) using flood irrigation.

SIEP supports the Governor’s Colorado Water Plan:

  • “Seek creative options for improving agriculture conservation and efficiency.”
    • SIEP improves efficiency in agriculture through the use of subsurface irrigation. Providing water directly to a crop’s root zone eliminates evaporation and runoff losses.
  • “Promote water efficiency planning and projects into overall water resource management”
    • SIEP’s research and visibility in the local agricultural community provides the information and awareness needed to help farmers move away from less efficient irrigation methods.
  • “…respect property rights and the contributions of the agricultural industry by maximizing options for alternatives to permanent agricultural dry-up”
    “Develop and implement policies and strategies that support meaningful agricultural viability statewide.”
    • Subsurface drip irrigation provides another option to permanent dry-up of farms. Using the research developed by Colorado State University and SIEP, farmers will be able to intelligently calculate the amount of water needed to grow crops under subsurface drip irrigation.
  • “Use water efficiently to reduce overall future needs”
    “Meet community water needs during periods of drought”
    • SIEP’s turf irrigation demonstration area is broken out into both sprinkler and subsurface drip irrigated zones. Those zones have meters visible to the public to show just how much water can be conserved with a subsurface system compared with a traditional sprinkler system. With continued research and data, we believe that a wide-spread adoption of subsurface turf irrigation can greatly reduce the demand on municipal water suppliers during the peak demand times for turf irrigation in Colorado, which, in turn, reduces the demand on the agricultural community to continue supporting the growing municipalities with their water.

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