Using Lagoon Water in SDI Systems for Forage Crops

Brian German Dairy & Livestock, Industry


There are multiple incentive programs for dairy farmers interested in using wastewater to irrigate forage crops with subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). Agronomic Relationship Manager for Netafim USA, Domonic Rossini noted some of the various methods for helping to offset the cost for establishing these types of systems.

“One would be using SWEEP.  We also got approved by NRCS; it’s its own area and they will actually put up $2,871 an acre if you’re approved for this project.  Then they also have – for bringing the pre-cleaning – you’ve got about $25,000 there, which would be cleaning out solids,” said Rossini. “Then also part of the requirement is that you need to check your water so that way you can associate how much nitrogen you have in your effluent water.  They also have a plan there where you can apply to get $27 credit there every time you take a sample to make sure you’re sampling correctly.”

While working on their projects using effluent water blended with freshwater Rossini noted they saw a reduction of water usage by nearly 30 percent.  Using that type of SDI system also showed a reduction of nitrous oxide emissions by as much as 90 percent.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West