The Irrigation Innovation Consortium, a public-private initiative to advance irrigation research, recently announced funding for seven research projects in 2020.
Projects were selected through a competitive review process that weighed and prioritized proposals according to scientific merit, novelty, level of industry involvement and inter-institution collaboration, among other factors.
The following projects were selected for funding in 2020:
- Advancing Development of the Parallel 41 Flux Network for Real-Time Evapotranspiration Monitoring (Principal investigator: Christopher Neale, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
- Deployment and Maintenance of Flux Towers in Kansas to be Integrated to the Parallel 21 Flux Networks to Support Multi-State Real-Time Evapotranspiration Estimates (Principal investigator: Eduardo Santos, Ph.D., Kansas State University)
- Optimizing Irrigation of Turfgrass Using Sensors, IOT, Lora Technology & Artificial Intelligence (Principal investigator: Jay Ham, Ph.D., Colorado State University)
- Toward Pivot Automation with Proximal Sensing for Maize and Soybean in the Great Plains (Principal investigator: Derek Heeren, Ph.D., PE, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
- A Remote Sensing Approach to Identify Critical Areas in California Orchards for Improving Irrigation Water Management Through Precision Agriculture Technology (Principal investigator: Dilruba Yeasmin, Ph.D., University of California-Fresno)
The consortium also selected the following two industry pitch projects:
- An Economic Impact Study of the Irrigation Industry (Principal investigator: John Farner, Irrigation Association)
- Connecting Field Scale Performance to Watershed Health: The Added Power of Sharing Data/Calculating Producer Water Use in Real Time (Principal investigator: John Heaston, Aquamart)
The IIC was launched in 2018 to promote and enhance water and energy efficiency in irrigation and ultimately create greater resiliency in food and agriculture. The project was made possible through an initial $5 million grant by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. This grant was matched by industry and university participants for a total initial investment of $10 million to support research and collaboration costs over five years.