Central Platte NRD Water Programs Update is Feb. 16, 2023

Central Platte NRD Water Programs Update is Feb. 16, 2023


GRAND ISLAND, Nebraska – Encouraging results of new sensor-based fertigation will be presented at Central Platte NRD’s annual Water Programs Update to be held Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at the Merrick County Fairgrounds in Central City.

During the 2022 growing season, sensor-based fertigation (SBF) studies were conducted by UNL on two farms in the CPNRD with a focus on improving nitrogen (N) management. SBF utilizes multispectral sensors equipped on drones to collect images and detect weekly N deficiencies in corn from V6 to R3 growth stages. With the use of N-Time™, the collected images are analyzed to create an actionable nitrogen prescription on SBF treatment sectors.

Results from SBF studies conducted throughout Nebraska since 2019, show the practices to be 96% more efficient in nitrogen usage and 56% more profitable when compared to the grower’s management. New treatments introduced to the study included increasing the applied nitrogen rate when a treatment area is triggered as deficient. With these new treatments, SBF results continued to increase efficiency and profitability.

Dean Krull, UNL Demonstration Project Coordinator, will start the nitrogen use discussion by providing a timeline of nitrogen management through fertigation trials. Taylor Cross, UNL Graduate Research Student, will explain the results from trials on producers’ fields in Hall County; and James Herrick, Implementation Specialist, will provide information on how Sentinel Fertigation is leading this new technology in the state. Ag producer Noah Seim will share his experience with the transition to data-driven fertigation and how it has impacted the Seim Farm operation.

Guest speakers Don Blankenau, Attorney with BWJ Law Group of Lincoln, will explain Nebraska’s drainage law regarding landowner versus renter responsibilities; and Martha Durr, State Climatologist, will offer insights into the anticipated weather pattern for the 2023 growing season. Central Platte NRD staff will provide recent developments with the NRD’s groundwater quality and groundwater quantity programs.

Attendance replaces the requirement to take CPNRD’s Nitrogen Management Certification Test for producers in Phases II/III of the Groundwater Quality Management Program. Professionals may register to receive four Continuing Education Credits for the Professional Water Well Contractors License and three Certified Crop Advisors Water & Soil credentials.

The Update is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend, RSVP for lunch by February 10, 2023, by calling (308) 385-6282 or email Marcia Lee at lee [at]  Additional information is available at