Since 2003, the Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP) has provided permanent federal funding to a research consortium for numerous research projects on water conservation. The program includes U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Kansas State University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service, Texas Tech University and West Texas A&M University.
Through the years, the Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP) has won several awards for its work on improving the sustainability of agricultural industries and rural communities in the region through innovative scientific research and technology transfer.
A new simulation modeling study, conducted by the Ogallala Water Coordinated Agricultural Project and funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, may help farmers conserve Ogallala’s groundwater. This study may improve the amount of irrigated wheat grown and promote proper fertilizer application using mathematical models and carefully collected data. Winter wheat, a critical crop grown for global consumption, is being studied under different irrigation and fertilizer amounts. Results show that farmers may be able to use half the amount of water that they usually need to effectively irrigate their wheat crops. Using less water can help save the Ogallala Aquifer.
The declaration of the COVID-19 viral disease as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and the increasing number of institutional travel restrictions related to COVID-19 has prompted postponement of the 2020 Ogallala Aquifer Summit.
Brent Auvermann, Ph.D., director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo and program chair for the conference, said the summit is important enough to reschedule, but for now safety and attendance is the primary concern.
“Enough of our participating and allied institutions have implemented out-of-state travel restrictions that would decimate our participation,” Auvermann said. “This is too important of an interstate event to try to pull it off with a skeleton crew from one state.”
He said updates on the rescheduling of the event will be posted on the 2020 Ogallala Aquifer Summit website.