Pathogen Risk Mitigation through System Design and Using Precision Irrigation Tools
Tuesday, 3 June, 2014
Noon to 1:00 pm (Eastern)
To participate in this webinar, please go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/irrigation-water/
and dial 1-888-619-1583 then enter pass code: 491981
Presenter: Dr. John Lea-Cox, Professor and Nursery Extension Specialist Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland
Summary: The use of recycled water from containment ponds or structures is an integral part of the sustainability of container-nursery and greenhouse production systems, even in those areas of the US which receive adequate rainfall. The capacity of containment structures is influenced by how much water can be captured and replenished from rainfall, groundwater or other sources. We need to therefore understand how we can firstly conserve water by scheduling daily irrigations to not only optimize plant growth, but reduce runoff and create drier, more antagonistic environments for pathogens within production areas. We don’t typically make very good decisions in estimating daily plant water use, especially in intensive nursery and greenhouse production environments, because of the diversity of crop species that are grown. We have developed advanced irrigation tools that allow growers to not only better estimate daily crop water use, but use those tools to automatically schedule and apply irrigations only when necessary. This seminar will cover the basics of good system design, and illustrate some of the advanced tools we are using to halve irrigation water applications, reduce runoff and create drier environments that increase plant growth while reducing disease incidence.