Fort Collins Conservation District offering moisture meters to growers

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The Fort Collins and Big Thompson conservation districts are teaming to provide soil-moisture sensors to local growers. With water looking scarce this year we hope to help growers to have a successful 2013 season by providing them with specific information about the moisture status below ground. We are being supported in this project by Northern Water, CSU Crop & Soils Extension, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The program began in 2011 with participating producers using the soil moisture information to improve their management and water use decisions. If a grower can target his irrigation more efficiently then it is possible to save both time and money. The sensors are relatively small, installed in the rows with minimal disturbance. The weekly reports provide the sensor readings as they relate to the soil type and a graph indicating whether or not irrigation is recommended. This year we have all new equipment; sensors, monitors and rain gauges. We customize the installation depths and the sensor report to the producer’s needs.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2013 season. For more information call the Fort Collins Conservation District at 970-221-0611.