Research Project

Enhancing Producer Knowledge of Irrigation Water Management Through a Comprehensive Educational Course

Investigators: Dillon Russell, Drew M. Gholson, Nicolas E. Quintana Ashwell, and Himmy Lo

Date: 2022

Project Summary


Scheduling irrigation events using soil moisture sensors has proven to reduce irrigation water applied while maintaining or improving crop yield and profitability. On the other hand, producers are hesitant to adopt soil moisture sensors because they either have had a bad experience or simply do not understand how to comprehend the readings being given. This course is designed to address all facets of irrigation water management, including irrigation water management practices (IWM), soil health, agronomics, irrigation scheduling, irrigation systems, and equipment maintenance, the economics of irrigated agriculture, and policy and management. Our goal is to equip producers with the knowledge they need to make the right irrigation water management decisions that improve their water use efficiency and, ultimately, their on-farm profitability

Development of the Mississippi Master Irrigator program began in May 2022. This program is being modeled after the original Master Irrigator course offered by the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District. The program is being delivered through a hybrid approach via online modules and in-person training. Instructional videos are being produced, and we expect to have approximately 12 credit hours of content created by the end of spring 2023. Throughout the second half of 2022, promotional materials such as a logo and a website containing program information were developed. The website can be found here: http://extension. master-irrigator

Once our online modules are complete, we will launch the online portion of the course. Participants will be required to complete online modules in a 12-month period to become eligible for our in-person training, a two-day event held at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, MS, sometime in the off-season. The online modules and in-person training days are being conducted by MSU Extension Specialists, as well as other individuals/entities with specialized experience in each discussion topic. A Mississippi Irrigation Manual has been developed and will be given to each program participant at the conclusion of the two-day event. At the conclusion of the two in-person meetings, participants will be granted a certificate titling them a "Mississippi Master Irrigator," which we expect will grant them funding and/or priority ranking from NRCS programs and discounts on soil moisture monitoring equipment.

  • Topic:
  • Decision

Contact NCAAR

General Information
Kaye Sullivan

Showcase Demo
Drew Gholson, Coordinator
Himmy Lo