Category Archives: Extension

Specialty irrigation courses offered in College Station March 14-15

Two specialty irrigation courses will be offered in College Station on permitting of wastewater for irrigation use and advanced landscape irrigation auditing March 14-15. The courses, Permitting of Alternative Water for Irrigation and Advanced Landscape Irrigation Auditing, are offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Cost for both courses is $165. The first course, Permitting of Alternative Water for Irrigation, will be March 14. “Wastewater is a broad term that refers to water, which originates from a wide variety of sources ranging from home sinks, showers and… Read More →

‘Internet of things’ to create big data for irrigated agriculture

Big data is big business, and everyone wants a part of the pie, however agricultural irrigators should take a careful look before accepting irrigation advice from new technology sources, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. Dr. Charles Hillyer, AgriLife Extension irrigation specialist in Amarillo, said a recent survey on emerging irrigation technologies identified the “internet of things” or IoT as the most important issue. What is that? Big data, Hillyer said. “Most mentioned by the survey takers is having lots of devices being used by… Read More →

Spring Landscape Irrigation Short Courses offered

A series of landscape irrigation short courses for licensed irrigation professionals will be held February through May with stops in College Station, Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Licensed landscape irrigators are required to have 24 hours of continued education every three years to renew their licenses, while licensed irrigation technicians need 16 hours every two years, said Charles Swanson, short course instructor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist in College Station. “Our classes cover a range of landscape irrigation topics,” Swanson said. “They benefit both… Read More →

Green infrastructure, low-impact development focus of Feb. 2 workshop in Dallas

A Green Infrastructure/Low-Impact Development Workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m.-noon Feb. 2 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas. The workshop is sponsored by the Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist with the institute, said the workshop will address the design, installation and benefits of low-impact development, or LID, in urban areas. It will also include a tour of LID structures at the Dallas center,… Read More →

New weather station in San Angelo

San Angelo employees installed a new $5,000 scientific-grade weather station by the soccer fields on Glenna Street on Wednesday. Officials said the tool will help water conservation efforts and save money on water bills. The ET weather station will measure five key weather data: Air temperature Solar radiation Wind speed Relative humidity Rainfall. This data will be collected once a day by Charles Swanson, a landscape irrigation specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in College Station, which manages the Texas ET Network including about 46 weather stations throughout the state…. Read More →

Hydrologic modeling could direct eco-friendly urban, rural land development

Dr. Jaehak Jeong sees the effects development has on the Lampasas River watershed every time it rains and water streams toward storm drains. Jeong, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research associate professor, develops hydrologic models at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Temple.  He said he hopes the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, or SWAT, will change the way land is developed and help return developed land to its natural hydrologic state. Conceptually, SWAT could help prevent flash flooding, erosion, sedimentation and improve water quality. SWAT… Read More →

Stiles Farm Field Day features drone technology

THRALL – The future of drone technology and its potential uses in Central Texas Blacklands farming operations were featured at the Stiles Farm Field Day held recently in Thrall. The field day, conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, showcased the latest in technological advancements in field crop production. “We want to introduce some of this technology and how you can apply it in your operation,” Bob Avant, director of AgriLife Research corporate relations in College Station, told attendees during the morning… Read More →

AgriLife Extension helping data-gathering equipment ‘speak’ the same language

By Kay Ledbetter AMARILLO – Agriculture production today is very data sensitive and includes many tools with technologies that don’t all work well together. One Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist is bringing a project to the High Plains to change that. But he needs some producers to do field testing. Dr. Charles Hillyer, AgriLife Extension irrigation engineering specialist in Amarillo, is part of the Precision Ag Irrigation Leadership, or PAIL, project. Hillyer, who joined AgriLife Extension almost a year ago and brought with him his data exchange… Read More →

AgriLife Extension sprinkler system lab to receive certification

Lab will be soon certified to test products for EPA WaterSense label Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191, COLLEGE STATION – New lawn sprinklers have built-in pressure regulators, but how accurate are they? That’s the question he will soon be able to answer, said Charles Swanson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service irrigation specialist, College Station. Swanson manages the Irrigation Technology Programs Lab of the department of biological and agricultural engineering department at Texas A&M University, College Station. Originally, Swanson and Dr. Guy Fipps, AgriLife Extension irrigation engineer, College Station,… Read More →

Quantifying Connections

By Leslie Lee In 2009, the Arab Gulf nation of Qatar, which imports more than 90 percent of its food, set out to improve its food security and established the Qatar National Food Security Program. Its government turned to a relatively new kind of analysis to test the feasibility of its goal: the water, energy, food (WEF) nexus. “We know that the three resources — water, energy and food — form a nexus with quantifiable interconnections,” said Dr. Rabi H. Mohtar, a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station endowed professor… Read More →