University of Missouri Extension has released a guide for farmers thinking about using a forage irrigation system.
"Water Source Development for Forage Irrigation Systems" (G1696) is available for free download at extension.missouri.edu/p/G1696.
"It is a very simple guide for people to look at the big issues," says Ryan Milhollin, MU Extension agricultural economist. "The guide provides a framework of some of the issues if farmers want water available for irrigation."
The guide discusses evaluating various water sources-ponds, lakes, rivers and streams-and how to estimate water storage requirements. It also looks at Missouri water laws and the capital costs of irrigation systems.
"If they really want to consider forage irrigation, we also recommend people talk with local irrigation companies and specialists with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are great resources, " Milhollin says.