Sustainable Agriculture Introduces The Pecanigator
Part of making agriculture a more sustainable practice is reconsidering conventional methodologies and reinvesting in them to make them function better. As fresh, clean water sources become more expensive (effectively cost and demand). While there can be many arguments that agriculture of any kind, by its very nature is in- sustainable, the economy of agriculture is too great to dismiss the field altogether. Instead, we must focus on ways to make the existing system as lean, clean and green as possible.
In steps the Pecanigator. The Peganigator is a tool used by pecan farmers to gauge the amount of water necessary for proper growth of the popular nut trees. The program has been piloted in the state of New Mexico, where for decades water has been irrigated from the Rio Grand. Because pecan trees use a lot of water, but it's hard to judge just when they need it and when they don't.
In many cases, it is estimated that many large pecan farmers over- irrigate and some smaller farmers under- irrigate; if the Pecanigator can help guide the farmers to make more efficient choices, we'll be well on our way to a more sustainable method of pecan farming.
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The pecanigator is a pecan irrigation tool; the creators just shortened the name to end up with Pecanigator. The Pecanigator is a slide rule-type device. It shows four different soil types and the irrigation intervals for each of these soil types as they change throughout the season. As the USDA video mentions, there will be some adjustment time needed, as both the slide-rule and the online version of the Pecanigator uses historical precipitation data combined with soil type.