Permanent Irrigated Pasture Demonstration Project Reducing Irrigation Water Use
The irrigation system in Shiprock is unable to meet the seasonal demands for water under the current cropping mix employed by area producers. This project will establish a 12.5 acre demonstration area using cool season grasses (smooth brome and orchard grass) and clover in the place of alfalfa. Cool season grasses take advantage of winter/spring moisture and late summer/fall monsoon rains reducing the need for irrigation. One-third of the acreage will be planted in an annual hay crop. Livestock will be grazed on the pasture in the early spring and then moved out to summer range, allowing the pasture to recover and provide a supply of hay in late June.