What is in this article?:
- Alabama Irrigation Summit to jumpstart declining farm sector
- Producer panel discussion
• The Alabama irrigation story is a tragic one of missed opportunities.
• In fact, in a state that receives roughly 55 inches of rainfall annually, row-crop production has declined by millions of acres within the last half century.
The Alabama Irrigation Summit, which will bring the state’s farmers, policy makers and water-use experts together to discuss irrigation’s immense potential for enhancing Alabama agricultural output and revitalizing rural economies, will be held Aug. 15, 2012, at the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Richard Beard Building, located at 1445 Federal Drive, Montgomery.
By establishing an “open and frank” dialogue on this issue, organizers hope to bring these key players closer to the long-sought goal of developing a comprehensive strategy for the widespread adoption of irrigation technologies and practices and also removing the barriers that have historically hampered this adoption, according to Samuel Fowler, director of Auburn University’s Environmental Institute, who has taken the lead in organizing this meeting.
The summit will also provide farmers with information about how the state’s new state income tax credit can be used to adopt irrigation technologies and practices, he says, adding that agricultural lenders, whose support will be critical to building an irrigation infrastructure, will also be included as key participants in this dialogue.
The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided by Alabama Ag Credit Lenders.
The sponsors of the summit are the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, the Alabama Irrigation Initiative, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Alabama Ag Credit Alabama Farm Credit, and the Alabama Office of the State Climatologist.