Presentation on theme: "Dana Porter, Ph.D., P.E. Associate Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center – Lubbock T ECHNOLOGY."— Presentation transcript:
Dana Porter, Ph.D., P.E. Associate Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center – Lubbock T ECHNOLOGY T RANSFER: P ROMOTING I RRIGATION P ROGRESS AND B EST M ANAGEMENT P RACTICES
Co-Authors Dan Rogers, Kansas State University Thomas Marek, Texas AgriLife Research Freddie Lamm, Kansas State University Terry Howell, USDA-ARS-CPRL Mahbub Alam, Kansas State University Norm Klocke, Kansas State University Support USDA-ARS Ogallala Aquifer Program Texas Water Development Board C REDITS
Efficient advanced irrigation technologies and BMPs are available as a result of combined efforts of research, extension, irrigation industry and end-users. Appropriate application of technologies and strategies has proven - cost-effective - technically feasible - effective in increasing water use efficiency However, adoption of irrigation BMPs, as well as proficiency and appropriateness of applications, have been highly variable. Additional educational efforts are warranted to improve understanding and promote adoption and implementation. USDA-ARS Ogallala Aquifer Program Technology Transfer efforts - increase public awareness of research - improve accessibility of information/educational resources - improve appropriate application of technologies and BMPs P ROMOTING I RRIGATION P ROGRESS AND BMP S
Educational efforts promoting irrigation best management practices - increase adoption of practices - increase public understanding of the importance of irrigation - increase visibility and impact of the Ogallala Aquifer Program - promote affiliated research and extension programs Build upon existing programs and collaborations - improve communication and maximize complementary expertise - accommodate additional audiences and applications - improve quality, effectiveness and efficiency of educational programs Methods and media to reach an expanding and diverse audience Evaluation tools to assess and improve programs and products T ECHNOLOGY T RANSFER O BJECTIVES
A UDIENCES Agricultural producers, crop consultants, technical service providers, irrigation professionals and similarly interested professionals working with irrigated agriculture - college educated and familiar crop production systems, irrigation technologies and irrigation water resources - have access to a variety of information sources - increasingly technologically sophisticated; rapid adopters of technology - primary decision makers/advisors regarding irrigation technology selection and irrigation management Agribusiness professionals, bankers, off-site landowners, research scientists, policy makers and others interested agriculture and/or water issues in general - college educated and interested in the subject matter, yet less familiar with irrigation technologies, methods and management - not generally involved in field level irrigation scheduling and management, yet may influence irrigation decisions (technology selection, investments in equipment, etc.)
A UDIENCES Youth and general public audiences are becoming increasingly important target audiences. Goals for these audiences: - increasing water awareness and literacy - building support for water conservation programs - improving understanding of the economic significance of irrigated agriculture (locally, regionally, globally) Small scale landowners are a significant emerging audience. Generally speaking, many - are highly educated professionals - lack experience in rural and agricultural settings - seek information related to agricultural irrigation (pastures, vineyards, horticultural and specialty crops) on a smaller scale - tend to prefer electronic, web-based information access - can be key supporters of water conservation programs There are overlaps and exceptions, of course.
E DUCATIONAL M ETHODS Audience information needs and information delivery expectations continue to expand. Traditional formats (on-farm demonstrations, workshops, conferences, classes, crop tours, and other “face to face” formats) continue to be important and effective for many, particularly for the traditional primary target audiences. - Venue, relevance of subject matter and presentation quality are very important. - Events derive much of their value as social networking and general information sharing opportunities. Resources to support effective in-person program delivery likely will become more limited. Evaluation instruments maximize relevance and improve effectiveness of these delivery formats and events.
E DUCATIONAL M ETHODS On-farm demonstrations are a traditional Extension technology transfer format wherein technologies and BMPs are “proven” locally effective and applicable in commercial farm settings. Examples: - on-farm center pivot studies to verify and promote the KanSched and other irrigation management tools and strategies - on-farm subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system evaluations - center pivot uniformity evaluations - center pivot in-canopy nozzle package performance evaluations (Kansas State University Irrigation Research & Extension Mobile Irrigation Lab) Targeted meetings and workshops offer Continuing Education Units necessary for maintenance of licenses and certifications (i.e. pesticide applicator licensees, Certified Crop Advisers, IA Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialists, etc.). They can be stand-alone events, or they may be held in conjunction with farm shows or larger conferences.
E DUCATIONAL M ETHODS Emerging audiences often prefer alternative technology transfer mechanisms, including Internet–based delivery that allows them to access information any time, anonymously and on- demand. They often prefer concise “sound bite” answers over more comprehensive educational packages, and they expect higher level web-based packaging of resources (web-based video, iTunes Podcasts, online calculators). Development of these packages requires additional web programming skills, hardware and software maintenance, and visual design expertise. Yet the overall delivery and potential to reach an expansive audience base makes electronic delivery very efficient.
E DUCATIONAL M ETHODS Decision support software and online technology transfer KSU Mobile Irrigation Laboratory provides software and technical support information for farm-level tools: KanSched2 - ET-based irrigation scheduling tool FuelCost - calculator to estimate seasonal irrigation costs Crop Water Allocator - seasonal irrigation planning tool Compare Energy Costs – tool to compare fuels for irrigation pumping Texas High Plains Evapotranspiration Network (exas AgriLife Research and Extension Centers at Lubbock (lubbock.tamu.edu/) and at Amarillo (amarillo.tamu.edu/index.php) USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Laboratory Soil and Water Management Unit (www.cprl.ars.usda.gov/swmru_research.htm)www.cprl.ars.usda.gov/swmru_research.htm Subsurface Drip Irrigation in the Great Plains (www.ksre.ksu.edu/sdi/)www.ksre.ksu.edu/sdi/ Irrigation at K-State Research and Extension (www.ksre.ksu.edu/irrigate/)
Seminars, meetings and hands-on training events - promote adoption of these decision support tools - provide opportunities to obtain user feedback for ongoing program improvement and support General public and youth audiences KSU Mobile Irrigation Lab mobile exhibit - used at county fairs and youth water festivals - computer based interactive games and quizzes Internet websites Presentations at public meetings, fairs and festivals Articles in newspapers and television and radio features Increased public access to bulletins, fact sheets, videos and other educational resources E DUCATIONAL M ETHODS
R ESULTS Evaluation of effectiveness of educational programs - Agencies are required to document program outcomes - Feedback to improve program quality and relevance Data from audience surveys and other evaluation instruments communicate value of programs to agency leaders and stakeholders. - Detailed surveys (feedback on agendas, topics, venues, speakers) - Standardized terminology on evaluation instruments to facilitate evaluation of programming efforts on local, regional, and larger scales - Internet site counters - Direct and informal feedback on resources and requests by end-users for additional utilities
Summary Technology transfer is essential to maximizing benefits of technologies and BMPs. Traditional and emerging audiences require a variety of formats and venues, and over a range of technical levels. Evaluation provides feedback for ongoing improvement to ensure relevance and quality of programs. Increasing awareness of irrigation research and technology transfer resources ultimately improves irrigation management.