Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020CO157B

Establishment of Industrial Hemp Study in Western Colorado to Evaluate Consumptive Use Rates Under Irrigated Conditions

Institute: Colorado
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Perry Cabot

Abstract: Effectively assisting producers in sorting through the strategies and tools available for advancing agricultural water management and water use efficiency on their operations is a complex endeavor. Farmers need to be profitable and productive; it’s a difficult challenge for them, and others involved in advancing water management, to assess the pros, cons, costs, and risks of adopting any of a wide range of technological hardware and software options that are constantly proliferating, along with potential shifts in field management practices. Sorting through this wide array of options, producers can get overwhelmed and may ultimately elect not to invest in adopting any or many of these options. Adding clarity to this process, via effective, practical, and science-based communications about how water management tools and strategies might align with producers’ biogeophysical reality and their on-farm production habits and goals can aid in dismantling farmers’ aversion to change. It is also critical that these communications also reflect a solid understanding of farmers’ attitudes towards managing their water rights, their short- and long-term production aspirations, and their relationship to and among influential peers. This project’s objective is to focus on developing and distributing several short and longer form print and digital communications for and about the producer and stakeholder networks related to two large multi-institutional projects hosted at CSU, the USDA-National Institute for Food and Agriculture-supported Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project (OWCAP) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research-supported Irrigation Innovation Consortium (IIC). For OWCAP, this work will focus on completing and sharing producer case studies from already conducted interviews, assisting with the development of the 2020 Ogallala Summit report, and film processing and other story-telling oriented documentation (print and digital) of producer engagement with water management and training in eastern Colorado via OWCAP’s partnership with CSU Extension and with the Colorado Master Irrigator program. For the IIC, this work will focus on conducting and writing up interviews with key stakeholders, including researchers and industry partners, and managing this projects’ social media to help the public better discover, understand, and find ways to engage with the IIC’s activities and support its mission and goals.