Water Jamboree & Removing Irrigation Scheduling Equipment

Last week was fun and somewhat exhausting teaching with my colleagues in Extension and several area Agencies at the Water Jamboree at Liberty Cove in Lawrence.  Water Jamboree started over 15 years ago to teach 5th and 6th graders about the importance of water and water-related subjects.  Nearly 800 youth learned about where water goes when it goes down the storm drain, about irrigation and siphon tubes, the aquifer, life inside and outside of the lake, mosquitoes, water movement, and much more.  Holli Weber and I utilized the nature trails through the tallgrass prairie to teach a session on life outside the lake focusing on the importance of plants as buffers to filter chemicals and allowing youth to run through the trails doing a photo ID scavenger hunt of the area plants (also to burn off energy!).  While I’ve done this session the past 5 years, this year I took time to show the youth specific characteristics to ID grasses.  God created each plant unique and I was showing them how Indiangrass has rabbit ears when you pull the leaves back from the stem…or the M/W on the smooth brome leaves.  It was fun watching the youths’ faces light up and then try to find these and other characteristics for themselves while on the trails.  It was a great day, although I really don’t know how teachers do it day in and out!  I wish I could’ve attended something like this when I was young!  A special thanks goes to Marlene Faimon at the Little Blue NRD for coordinating this each year.

After Water Jamboree, I headed to my research plot at Lawrence.  It’s been a trying year of coon damage and most recently a skunk inside our traps instead of the coons (and it still smelled like skunk out there!).  Anyway, I was pulling watermark sensors and the 1st and 2nd foot ones were really rough but the 3rd and 4th feet came out easily.  So just a reminder, when pulling watermark sensors, clamp a vice grip below the cap, twist and pull up.  I’ve taken out hundreds of these and have only pulled apart four.  If your sensor won’t pull up, simply take a spade and dig around the sensor and also bring a jug of water with you.  This is the first time I’ve had to dig sensors out but the water really helped as I got it to run down the tube, it eventually loosened at the base to pull out easily without removing the sensor from the pvc pipe.  Sensors can be gently washed with a hose or in a bucket of water using your fingers to gently clean them-don’t use a brush.  Allow to dry and store in your shed, garage, basement, etc.  Also a reminder (although I should’ve done this during the cold of Husker Harvest Days), to get your ET gages inside.  Pour out the water and empty the ceramic top by pulling out the tube and then store that inside where it won’t freeze during the winter.  

About jenreesources

I'm the Crops and Water Extension Educator for York and Seward counties in Nebraska with a focus in irrigated crop production and plant pathology.

Posted on September 27, 2011, in Crop Updates, Event, Irrigation Scheduling and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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