August 4, 2022

Water Optimization on Utah's Farms

As Utah and other Western states face continued drought conditions, agricultural irrigation practices are being increasingly targeted. Irrigation accounts for upwards of 70% of Utah's water use, but those farms provide approximately 80,000 jobs and contribute 15 percent of the state's GDP.

At this USU Research Landscapes event, Dr. Matt Yost discussed the latest irrigation research and shared techniques to optimize water use while supporting, instead of scrutinizing, Utah's food producers.

We were happy to feature two guest speakers at this event: Craig Buttars, Commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and Casey Snider, member of the Utah House of Representatives.

Both guests were part of the discussion and conversations about water optimization at the event and attendees heard their thoughts and perspectives on Utah's agriculture and food producers.

A USU Extension specialist and faculty member in the Plants, Soils, and Climate department, Dr. Yost has been working with farmers across Utah to test different water optimization techniques.

During the event, he discussed the pros and cons of various practices and systems, including:

  • irrigation scheduling methods
  • recent advances in irrigation systems and sprinklers
  • drought-tolerant crops
  • soil management approaches

USU Research Landscapes was held Thursday, August 4 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the O.C. Tanner headquarters in Salt Lake City, and included a 25-minute presentation, 30 minutes of live question-and-answer, and time to network with other attendees.

Headshot of Matt Yoast
Dr. Matt Yost. Associate Department Head of Plants, Soils, & Climate, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences