April brought some warm days here to Central Oregon, and warm days also means the start of irrigation season.  As I wrap up spring planting, my focus turns to managing irrigation, and considering we have had 3 inches of rain since Feburary, water is very important.


Our water is available April 15th, although most of our neighbors don’t turn on until early May.  We irrigate mostly with wheel lines, and it took us a few days to get everything ready for the season (gaskets, checking drains, flushing lines, etc).  We got most everything on by the 25th, and most of our fields are wet.

Because of a maintainence issue, our irrigation district will be shutting off water from the 6th until the 11th, so we are pushing to get our pre-emergant herbicide watered down on our garbanzo beans.  This means 8 hour sets and a whole lot of labor.   However, we will be ahead of the water, and set up to take advantage of the warmer days in the forcast.

Last spring was a real wet one, and we were shut off most of May, which saved a whole lot of power costs, but delayed 1st cutting hay by 10 days.  It does not look like this spring will be too wet, and if we can get some heat the hay will look real good.