21st July 2024

Cameron and Garrett Duncan, homeowners of Duncan Livestock and Hay, have lived in Klamath County for almost 20 years, and have skilled firsthand the affect of extended drought within the area. So in 2023, to guard their land and livelihoods, the Duncans started the method of upgrading the irrigation system on their 230-acre farm to avoid wasting water, power, cash and labor.

For the Duncans, upgrading their system was not solely necessary to preserve valuable assets, but it surely was additionally the primary and most necessary piece of the puzzle to create a extra sustainable farm.

“Approaching our farm sustainability-first is extremely necessary to us. We need to be proactive with our land, and hold it productive for so long as doable,” stated Cameron Duncan. “That begins with higher water administration and irrigation practices.”

Throughout their irrigation improve course of, the Duncans labored with native organizations together with Vitality Belief of Oregon, Sustainable Northwest and Wy’East Useful resource Conservation and Growth for strategic assist and an power evaluation, which opened the door for a $250,000 grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. The grant, along side Vitality Belief irrigation incentives, coated a big portion of the preliminary irrigation upgrades on the Duncan’s property.

These upgrades included changing present wheel traces with a mechanized pivot system, in addition to a brand new pump station and variable frequency drive (VFD). These have been put in by Vitality Belief commerce ally J.W. Kerns, an irrigation contractor out of Klamath Falls.

man maintaining irrigation sprinklers man by irrigation sprinklers

By putting in their new system, the Duncans count on to avoid wasting over 240,000 kWh of power – to not point out hours of handbook labor.

“What was once a multi-week, labor-heavy course of now takes lower than three days and with little effort from us,” stated Cameron Duncan. “We will additionally reinvest the cash we’re saving on water and power payments again into the enterprise.”

Wheel traces, whereas nonetheless a preferred mode of irrigation throughout agricultural communities, are inefficient. To totally water a subject, the operator should exit a number of occasions a day to unhook the road, restart the engine, after which transfer the wheel line over to the subsequent part. This course of can take weeks. A lot of the water may also be misplaced to wind or evaporation earlier than reaching the crop.

aerial photo of sprinklers on farm

“Pivot techniques are gaining popularity in our space as a result of each drop counts, and individuals are desirous to be as environment friendly as doable,” stated Luke Molatore with J.W. Kerns. “Nevertheless, price is commonly a barrier, so we recognize working with Vitality Belief so extra of our farmers have entry to incentives and financial savings.”

Vitality Belief affords totally different irrigation incentives. Particular upgrades embody:

Irrigation upgrades are one of many first, and finest, choices for small farmers seeking to save water and cash. If involved in studying extra, go to www.energytrust.org/options/agriculture-irrigation-improvements or contact us at 1.866.202.0576 or production@energytrust.org.

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