NMSU receives grant to help deal with drought

New Mexico State University has received a $1.18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund research on how farmers and ranchers can best deal with drought conditions.
The award was made by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and its Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate grant program.
The research will focus on the Southern Great Plains region, which involves Union County, New Mexico; Las Animas, Colorado; and Cimarron County, Oklahoma.
“To develop a sustainable food and agricultural system for future generations, we must learn how to manage our natural resources better, particularly our scarce water resources in the Southern Great Plains,” said NMSU President John Floros.
Part of the effort will involve scientists at the university and its associated Cooperative Extension offices working with land managers to gather information and acquire knowledge and then communicating findings back to ranchers, farmers and the public, according to Amy Ganguli, associate professor of range science at NMSU.

NMSU researchers join others to address water scarcity issues

Faculty and staff from New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute teamed up with researchers from around the state for a feasibility study on the reuse of produced water last year.
One of the most relevant findings from the study is that the most feasible use of produced water generated from the oil and gas industry is for that industry to reuse its own produced water, as opposed to using fresh water.
“The focus of the project was to understand the opportunities for reusing treated produced water, both in and out of the oil and gas industry, in order to preserve the freshwater aquifers.
Kenneth “KC” Carroll, an associate professor of water resource management in the NMSU Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, said the oil and gas industry in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico produces large amounts of water.
“Although produced water is a wastewater, it is a large source of available water in a region where water scarcity is impacting agriculture.” Sabie said treatment technology is improving and it is becoming more common for the oil and gas industry to reuse its produced water.
By reusing their own produced water, companies are able to use less costly and semi-mobile regulated treatment plants closer to the oil and gas extraction areas.
Produced water is such an important topic for the industry, engineering, municipalities and regulatory agencies.
“My job was to investigate the treatment technologies and the cost to treat the water,” she said.
He also researched the spatial variability of the produced water quality.
New Mexico State University researchers are studying produced water quality spatial variability and analyzing alternative-source water in the Permian Basin in Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas.

Turfgrass research focuses on irrigation efficiency, drought tolerance

Turfgrass research focuses on irrigation efficiency, drought tolerance.
Researchers in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences are determining methods to improve irrigation efficiency.
NMSU Extension Turfgrass Specialist Bernd Leinauer said subsurface drip irrigation, in particular, is the newest method in turfgrass efficiency.
"Although subsurface drip irrigation has been used in agriculture for decades, it’s just making its way into the turfgrass industry," Leinauer said.
Last summer, Leinauer and his research team led a project to install a subsurface drip irrigation system in several tee boxes at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe.
The project is a collaboration among NMSU, Las Campanas, United States Golf Association and irrigation manufacturers Toro and Rain Bird.
While half of the park will use a traditional pop-up sprinkler watering system, NMSU will oversee the other half of the park, on which a subsurface drip irrigation system has been installed.
For the funding agencies that have supported our research in water conservation, it is particularly important to document that technology not only works in a research setting but can be successfully scaled up to real world situations."
In the next three to five years, NMSU researchers and City of Albuquerque officials should find out if the subsurface drip irrigation system helped conserve water.
We can work closely with each other and design projects together.

‘Managing Risk and Thinking Ahead’ drought workshop set for April 26 in Clovis

If you’re a farmer, dairy owner or rancher in Eastern New Mexico or West Texas, you may want to attend the “Managing Risk and Thinking Ahead” workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 26 in Clovis, New Mexico.
The workshop is at the Curry County Events Center Indoor Pavilion, located on the Curry County Fairgrounds at 900 E. Brady Ave.
State climatologist Dave DuBois, assistant professor in the NMSU Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will speak about recent weather events and impacts.
Attendees will discuss challenges related to weather and climate, as well as the resources and research needed to support farm-level decision making.
Presentations will highlight the potential impact of drought and limited water conditions on agriculture in the Southern High Plains in New Mexico and West Texas.
Information will also be provided about local and regional resources that are available to help manage and monitor impacts from drought and other severe weather events.
The workshop is supported by the National Integrated Drought Information System and the USDA Southwest Climate Hub.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer a workshop that covers some important issues facing agricultural producers in the Southern High Plains,” said Caiti Steele, USDA Southwest Climate Hub Deputy Director.
“Drought, extreme weather and limited water resources present very real challenges to profitable agricultural production.
To register, go to http://swclimatehub.info.

Celebrating Earth Day this week

Celebrating Earth Day this week.
LAS CRUCES – Every April, in cities and towns around the country, community businesses and groups celebrate Earth Day.
Nelson saw the public awareness surrounding air and water pollution throughout the country increase and knew the time was right to begin a nationwide movement.
This week, the Las Cruces Green Chamber is honored to be part of several activities that highlight protecting our vital resources and being kind to our planet.
The Las Cruces Chats will conclude on Thursday evening with myself talking about our Think Local First efforts and will conclude with Clair Campos and Spenser Lopez, from Mountain View Market Co-Op, discussing food waste.
All Las Cruces Chats begin at 6 p.m., are free and open to the public and take place at the county government building, 845 N. Motel Blvd.
Friday’s events feature the Earth Day Festival at the Doña Ana County Government Building.
The day begins with a tree planting at 8 a.m. and the festival, featuring various vendors, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Saturday, April 22, the Las Cruces Green Chamber, in partnership with Keep Las Cruces Beautiful, will be hosting the Reuse and Recycle Fashion show at the plaza on Main Street.
It is also free and open to public and runs from 8:30 to 3 p.m. Attendees will see a number of locally-owned businesses that are doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve energy and protect the planet.
Carrie Hamblen is the CEO/President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce.