Opportunities to update irrigation for Alberta producers

Top Crop Manager
Monday, 12 November 2018 | Alberta
By Top Crop Manager
Alberta producers who own an irrigated agricultural operation within the province are now able to apply for a program that will help them with the costs of upgrading their irrigation equipment and moving to a more efficient system.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership Irrigation Efficiency Program provides grant opportunities to Alberta producers. The purpose of the program is to increase water savings and reduce energy use in irrigated agriculture. The program assists producers with costs associated with the purchase and installation of a new low-pressure centre pivot irrigation system, a drip irrigation system or an upgrade of an existing irrigation system.

Applicants are eligible to receive either 40 per cent of costs, up to a maximum of $5,000, toward equipment or system upgrades, or $15,000 of costs incurred for an upgrade from a gravity, side-wheel, or high pressure centre pivot irrigation system to a new low pressure centre pivot (LPCP) system or a subsurface drip irrigation system.

Projects that are not eligible include the purchase and installation of irrigation equipment for irrigation expansion, or the purchase and installation of used irrigation equipment. Producers looking for more information, including a full list of eligible equipment upgrades, or to apply, can visit the Irrigation Efficiency Program page.

In addition to the program, Alberta Agriculture has a Irrigation Management Section that conducts research projects. Leonard Hingley, a soil and water specialist in Brooks, Atla., has been working on a subsurface drip irrigation study for the past two years. His project looks at the impact of five irrigation treatments on yield in alfalfa seed and was profiled in the article Putting the moisture where it counts.

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