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NMSU sustainability project receives regional and national recognition

A group of New Mexico State University researchers received regional and national recognition from Western and national land-grant university directors for a sustainability project that aims to conserve water.

?NMSU works in many aspects of sustainability,? said Steve Loring, administrative adviser representing the Western Agricultural Experiment Station directors. ?We have been part of this ongoing project for a very long time and it is an honor to be selected and recognized for the work we?ve done.?

The project, called W-2128 Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use was created in 1972. It is a multistate project in which NMSU, in collaboration with University of California-Davis, Iowa State University, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, University of Florida, Texas A&M University, University of Puerto Rico, University of Hawaii, University of the Virgin Islands, Cornell University, and Kansas State University and USDA research laboratories, has conducted many experiments in order to improve the design of the irrigation system, educate farmers, increased the adoption of the microirrigation system which in turn saves money, water and improved crop yield and quality.

Microirrigation is a system that delivers water to farmland in smaller and more efficient ways. Over the last five years, researchers from each university have worked in different areas such as science, economy, agricultural engineering, plant physiology, agronomy, soil science and outreach.

NMSU?s participation ranged from testing different models of drip tubing to developing a 2D model for scheduling microirrigation for shallow-rooted plants, among many other soil and irrigation experiments.

The regional recognition will be awarded in Nevada this month and the national recognition will take place in Orlando, Fla., in November.

?Every region, every year makes a nomination to honor what they consider to be the regional award of excellence for multistate research and this year we were nominated and selected by the directors as the awardee for the Western Region Award of Excellence,? Loring said.

Loring added the recognitions show the research is worth doing, especially for states such as New Mexico, which suffer from a water shortage, and that the researchers have been successful in different areas such as technology, modeling, outreach and education.

?This project leverages the expertise at several other institutions, which gives much greater impact to the results of the research and education efforts,? Loring said.