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Better production, lower water use focus of conference

Monday, March 5, 2012

CURTIS, Nebraska -- Agricultural producers will have to do more with less to feed a hungry world, according to an expert who will speak at an upcoming event in McCook.

Local irrigators, producers, farm managers, agronomists and bankers are invited to attend the 26th annual Southwest Nebraska Water Conference, Wednesday, March 14, at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building in McCook.

Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. with the first session starting at 9:10 a.m.

"We need to double global food production by 2050 and reduce agriculture's environmental impact -- all while reducing water use," said Dr. Ron Yoder, featured speaker next Wednesday.

Yoder is the chairman of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Tim Shaver, Nutrient Management Specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will discuss proper nutrient management techniques that can minimize potential nitrogen related problems and protect water quality while still maximizing crop yields.

The conference will start off with update reports from the Middle Republican NRD, Natural Resources Conservation Commission and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The Bureau will report on the Red Willow Dam repairs. The Middle Republican NRD will present its Conservation Awards during lunch. Lunch is being provided by the District.

In addition to presenters, many vendors will be exhibiting their services and products during the conference: Ag Valley Co-op; Eco-Drip; Great Plains Meter; Moorhous Irrigation & Supply; Olsen's Agricultural Laboratory; Quality Irrigation-Valley Senninger Irrigation; Southwest Irrigation -Reinke.

Coffee and breakfast rolls will be provided by Ag Valley Coop. Lunch will be provided by the Middle Republican NRD for all who attend. Sponsors for this year's conference are the Middle Republican NRD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Southwest Nebraska Water Conference began in 1987 as a means to educate irrigators who had water quality problems.

During the lawsuit with Kansas, the conference served to update people on the progress of the lawsuit. In the coming years, the conference aims to educate producers on integrated management, water policy changes, new technologies and practical application suggestions that irrigators and professionals can implement in their businesses and operations.

Contact the Middle Republican NRD at (800) 873-5613 for more information.

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