“If we don’t see the curves of the snowpack going up, we could be in trouble,” he said.
Strauch’s closing remarks referenced what he believes to be the biggest problem, finding federal and state funding to repair aging waterway structures. “Every system is old and some of them are not doing very well, we have to think about how we are going to be able to maintain these systems.”
Scott Schaneman, acting general manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District (NPNRD), spoke to the group about the state of groundwater irrigation. He discussed water planning and management, current allocation and allocation period rules and regulations.
“We are a sponge,” Schaneman said, adding that his concern was not about groundwater scarcity, but surface water drought.
Bean Day attendees heard experts from the Panhandle Research and Extension Center provide an update on on-farm research. A roundtable was held with researchers and producers to answer questions and receive feedback from the public as well as online participants. Topics included western bean cutworm, heat-tolerant dry bean varieties, nitrogen management for dry bean production, weed control, sensor-based irrigation management and testing new chemical alternatives to copper for disease management. The roundtable ended after researchers heard feedback from producers regarding future studies and how best for researchers to communicate their work.