Nebraska residents, both urban and rural, can help during extended dry periods to help conserve water.
Neil Moseman, assistant director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and chairman of Nebraska's Climate Assessment Response Committee, says western Nebraska continues to suffer from severe drought conditions. Eastern Nebraska in recent weeks has drifted into the "abnormally dry" and "drought moderate" categories on the U.S. Drought Monitor Map.
DeLynn Hay, University of Nebraska program leader in Extension and a CARC member, encourages irrigators to continue to closely monitor crop water needs and soil moisture storage as the last half of the irrigation season begins.
"Monitoring soil moisture status as the irrigation season approaches an end may let irrigators get by without a late irrigation run, especially if we are fortunate to get some late August or early September precipitation," Hay says.
Residents in communities also should be monitoring water use, says Jack Daniel, administrator of Environmental Services for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
"As drought continues, more community systems will opt for mandatory limits," Daniel says.
Hays says that crop irrigators have two upcoming opportunities to participate in educational field days. One is the Great Plains Conference on Improving Crop Water Productivity on Aug. 9 and the Irrigation and Energy Conservation Workshop for Corn Growers on Sept. 6. Both are in North Platte.