The Turlock Irrigation District is making a new tool available to growers, which should allow farmers to better monitor their irrigations – and save water.
The Ag Flag is, essentially, a bright orange flag attached to a fiberglass pole. The pole is bent in two and the flag is tacked to the ground with a strip of paper.
As the paper wets with irrigation water, the tension in the pole causes the paper to tear. The flag flies into the air, notifying the farmer that irrigation water has reached the desired point and should be shut off.
Currently, most farmers must watch irrigations to see when water has reached the desired shut-off point. If a farmer gets distracted, he or she can easily overwater.
TID purchased 100 of the Ag Flags, custom-emblazoned with the district’s logo. The Ag Flags are being made available free of charge to growers, while supplies last, as part of the district’s efforts to conserve water given the ongoing drought.
Ag Flag kits cost approximately $20 each when purchased from the Atwater-based manufacturer at www.ag-flag.com.
To obtain a free Ag Flag, growers may call TID at 209-883-8356. Limit 5 per grower.