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Sutter-Yolo Mobile Irrigation Lab

Mobile Irrigation Lab

The Yolo County RCD has partnered with the Sutter County RCD to create a multilingual (English, Spanish, and Punjabi) Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL). The Mobile Irrigation Lab is a FREE irrigation technical assistance program that works to promote regional water conservation. The aim of the MIL is to provide growers in Yolo, Sutter, Colusa, and Yuba counties with detailed information about their irrigation system so they can increase their irrigation efficiency to save money on water and energy.

"The aim of the [Mobile Irrigation Lab] is to provide growers... with detailed information about their irrigation systems so they can increase their irrigation efficiency to save money on water and energy."

Questions? Get in touch!

Conor Higgins
Yolo County RCD Mobile Irrigation Lab Manager (English and Spanish)
higgins@yolorcd.org
(530) 661-1688 x 4

For those interested in participating, the MIL team will go out to each grower’s farm/orchard/vineyard, collect data in the field, and create a confidential report regarding pressures, flows, distribution uniformity, application rate, etc. throughout the irrigation system, all at no cost. There is also limited funding to provide free pump efficiency tests for 20 growers each year who get their system evaluated. The MIL is funded by a three-year grant (June 2022 – June 2025) through the Water Efficiency Technical Assistance Program under the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Growers are encouraged to reach out to learn more about the program or schedule an irrigation efficiency evaluation. At the beginning of each irrigation season, the MIL will contact growers on the list to schedule visits and discuss details.

Bilingual Mobile Irrigation Program
Bilingual Mobile Irrigation Program
Bilingual Mobile Irrigation Program

What are the benefits?

Reports provide each grower with comprehensive details about their irrigation system. These reports also include recommendations that can help improve overall system performance. The goal is that this information can cut the costs of irrigation and lead to water conservation through better water distribution efficiency, shorter pump run times, and better awareness of the system.

What does the Mobile Irrigation Lab provide?

  • Distribution Uniformity (DU) rating (a measure of how evenly water is applied to the crop)
  • Emitter/sprinkler flow rates
  • Determination of water applied during an irrigation event (application rate)
  • Map of collected pressures and flows
  • Recommendations for system improvements and maintenance
  • Estimated system run times
  • Coordination of a free pump efficiency evaluation (limited availability, 1 per grower)

Common systems evaluated

  • Micro sprinkler
  • Drip
  • Solid set sprinkler
  • Other: email/call to find out if an evaluation can be conducted

Funding provided by a Grant Award from the Water Efficiency Technical Assistance Program from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation

California Department of Food and Agriculture