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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Irrigation Well Workshop Set for Nov. 12

LAS CRUCES - Last summer's heat wave and lack of rain has worsened drought conditions across most of New Mexico, forcing many of the state's farmers to turn to irrigation wells to produce a crop.

A free irrigation well management workshop Nov. 12 will offer farmers expert advice on irrigation well construction, maintenance and water quality. The half-day session begins at 1 p.m. at New Mexico State University's Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center, located 8 miles southeast of Las Cruces on Highway 28.

"This year, more and more growers have had to rely on wells for irrigation due to the prolonged drought," said Rich Phillips, project manager with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service and Chile Task Force coordinator. "We don't expect that situation to be any better next year, which is why the focus of this workshop will be on preventive maintenance." A well maintenance check list will be provided at the meeting.

Craig Runyan, water quality specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service and the university's Water Task Force coordinator, will lead a discussion on well construction and well head protection. Robert Flynn, an agronomist with NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Artesia, will review water quality and salinity management.

The program will also feature an update from the Elephant Butte Irrigation District. Federal and state officials have offered little encouraging news for next year's water outlook in the district. In the last couple of months, the state has slipped into the "persistent drought" category in the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook report.

The workshop is sponsored by the New Mexico Chile Pepper Task Force, Doņa Ana County Cooperative Extension office and NMSU's Extension water quality program.

For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, please contact Daniel Kim at (505) 646-3535 or dkim@nmsu.edu before the event.