Summary: No matter the particular plant scenario you are working with (ie field crop, pastureland, Greenhouse business, turf grass, home garden and landscaping, etc.) being able to accurately estimate the water needs and timing of irrigation will help lower costs, as well as preserve limited water supplies. In this lesson you will learn how to use a specific irrigation app which has been developed by a group of public researchers and is free for your use. This app, along with the foundational irrigation principles you learned in previous lessons and/or from your previous knowledge will help you maximize the effects of your irrigation applications while minimizing costs. This lesson uses a Colorado field example.

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Set up a field in the Water Irrigation Scheduler for Efficient Application (WISE) App to schedule irrigations during one growing season.
  • Input irrigation amounts in WISE based on estimated soil water deficits (D) and the crop’s management allowed depletion (MAD) during one growing season.
  • Interpret the WISE water balance outputs.


Time Required: We estimate it will take you 2 hours to complete the lesson.  You can work on it at your own pace and do not have to complete it in one setting.

Who Would Benefit:  A variety of people will find this upskilling course useful from adults to high school students.  This includes careers (or hobbyists) growing plants (ie field crops, greenhouse production, turf and lawns, gardens, etc.) and wishing to save money and water by better timing irrigation applications.

Upskill Credentials: If you finish the entire course including passing a final quiz (which you can take up to 3 times), then you will earn a badge certificate of completion.  It has been approved for 2 Crop Management CEUs through the national Certified Crop Adviser program.

Instructor: Dr. Allan A. Andales is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Irrigation and Water Science in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University (CSU). He has a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Andales applies principles of soil and water engineering, environmental biophysics, and numerical methods to study the effects of management practices and environmental factors on field hydrology and agricultural production. Experimental data are used to develop computer models and decision support tools that can improve agricultural water use efficiency and water quality. He is a member of the CSU Extension Water Resource Management Team that engages the public in addressing agricultural and urban water issues in Colorado.

ADA Accessibility: We have done our best to follow ADA best practices. Let us know if you run into any problems or require further accommodations.

Acknowledgements: This online micro-credential upskilling course is offered through the CSU Ag Upskilling program.  Development was supported in part by funding from the CHS Foundation, administered by Colorado State University (2022).  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.  Learn more at CHS Foundation.




To purchase and enroll in the course, click the following button:

Summary:  When making decisions about when to irrigate a crop, no matter the specific plant or scenario, it is important to take into consideration evapotranspiration rates which provide an estimate of water flux out of your system.  The challenge is that evapotranspiration varies a lot depending on the specific plant, its growth stage plus changing weather (or greenhouse) conditions. Precision agriculture scientists have been able to characterize two reference crop values as a way to standardize evapotranspiration calculations based on weather data. In this lesson you will learn what is meant by a reference crop, crop coefficient, and water stress coefficient and how you can use these to inform your irrigation management decisions.   

Time Required: We estimate it will take you 2 hours to complete the lesson.  You can work on it at your own pace and do not have to complete it in one setting.

Who Would Benefit:  A variety of people will find this upskilling course useful from adults to high school students.  This includes careers (or hobbyists) growing plants (ie field crops, greenhouse production, turf and lawns, gardens, etc.) and wishing to save money and water by better timing irrigation applications.

Upskill Credentials: If you finish the entire course including passing a final quiz (which you can take up to 3 times), then you will earn a badge certificate of completion.  It has been approved for 2 Soil and Water Management CEUs through the national Certified Crop Adviser program.

Instructor: Dr. Allan A. Andales is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Irrigation and Water Science in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University (CSU). He has a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Andales applies principles of soil and water engineering, environmental biophysics, and numerical methods to study the effects of management practices and environmental factors on field hydrology and agricultural production. Experimental data are used to develop computer models and decision support tools that can improve agricultural water use efficiency and water quality. He is a member of the CSU Extension Water Resource Management Team that engages the public in addressing agricultural and urban water issues in Colorado.

ADA Accessibility: We have done our best to follow ADA best practices. Let us know if you run into any problems or require further accommodations.

Acknowledgements: This online micro-credential upskilling course is offered through the CSU Ag Upskilling program.  Development was supported in part by funding from the CHS Foundation, administered by Colorado State University (2022).  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.  Learn more at CHS Foundation.




To purchase and enroll in the course, click the following button:

Summary: To effectively utilize limited irrigation resources in the most cost-effective manner requires balancing the inputs and outputs of water fluxes, as well as water that is stored in the soil profile. Best irrigation management scheduling practices focus on water balance in the rootzone because that is where the plant/crop is extracting water (and nutrients) from the soil.  It is here we estimate the irrigation water requirements to maintain healthy plants. Decisions on when and how much irrigation water to apply depends on the soil water deficit and the management-allowed depletion (MAD). This lesson will walk you through each of these concepts including real world problem scenarios.

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Use the water balance of the root zone to estimate the irrigation water requirement. 
  • Make irrigation decisions by comparing the soil water deficit to the management-allowed depletion. 

Time Required: We estimate it will take you 2 hours in total to complete the lesson.  You can work on it at your own pace and do not have to complete it in one setting.

Who Would Benefit:  A variety of people will find this upskilling course useful from adults to high school students.  This includes careers (or hobbyists) growing plants (ie field crops, greenhouse production, turf and lawns, gardens, etc.) and wishing to save money and water by better timing irrigation applications.

Upskill Credentials: If you finish the entire course including passing a final quiz (which you can take up to 3 times), then you will earn a badge certificate of completion.  This has also been approved for 2 Soil and Water Management CEUs through the national Certified Crop Adviser program.

Instructor: Dr. Allan A. Andales is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Irrigation and Water Science in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University (CSU). He has a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Andales applies principles of soil and water engineering, environmental biophysics, and numerical methods to study the effects of management practices and environmental factors on field hydrology and agricultural production. Experimental data are used to develop computer models and decision support tools that can improve agricultural water use efficiency and water quality. He is a member of the CSU Extension Water Resource Management Team that engages the public in addressing agricultural and urban water issues in Colorado.

ADA Accessibility: We have done our best to follow ADA best practices. Let us know if you run into any problems or require further accommodations.

Acknowledgements: This online micro-credential upskilling course is offered through the CSU Ag Upskilling program.  Development was supported in part by funding from the CHS Foundation, administered by Colorado State University (2022).  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.  Learn more at CHS Foundation.


Summary: The goal of irrigation is to add water to the soil where the plant roots are actively growing (the root zone). The soil serves as a water reservoir, from which plants can withdraw water needed for growth. In irrigation management, it is necessary to know the characteristics of the soil in the area that you will be irrigating. These soil characteristics can be used to determine the amount of water in the root zone that is available to the plants. 

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the concept of depth of water. 
  • Determine the depth of water that is available to the plants. 
  • Use the concept of depth of water to estimate the net irrigation requirement (i.e., soil water deficit) of the soil root zone. 

Time Required: We estimate it will take you 2 hours in total to complete the lesson.  You can work on it at your own pace and do not have to complete it in one setting.

Who Would Benefit:  A variety of people will find this upskilling course useful from adults to high school students.  This includes careers (or hobbyists) growing plants (ie field crops, greenhouse production, turf and lawns, gardens, etc.) and wishing to save money and water by better timing irrigation applications.

Upskill Credentials: If you finish the entire course including passing a final quiz (which you can take up to 3 times), then you will earn a badge certificate of completion.  It has been approved for 2 Soil and Water Management CEUs through the national Certified Crop Adviser program.

Instructor: Dr. Allan A. Andales is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Irrigation and Water Science in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University (CSU). He has a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Andales applies principles of soil and water engineering, environmental biophysics, and numerical methods to study the effects of management practices and environmental factors on field hydrology and agricultural production. Experimental data are used to develop computer models and decision support tools that can improve agricultural water use efficiency and water quality. He is a member of the CSU Extension Water Resource Management Team that engages the public in addressing agricultural and urban water issues in Colorado.

ADA Accessibility: We have done our best to follow ADA best practices. Let us know if you run into any problems or require further accommodations.

Acknowledgements: This online micro-credential upskilling course is offered through the CSU Ag Upskilling program.  Development was supported in part by funding from the CHS Foundation, administered by Colorado State University (2022).  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.  Learn more at CHS Foundation.


Summary: Irrigation is defined as the watering of land (or other plant growth media) by artificial means to foster plant growth. This can be very costly and the availability of supplemental water may be scarce, so it is important to be able to calculate accurately how much water to apply and when. This lesson will introduce you the underlying concepts you will need to consider.

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain how the systems approach can be used to manage water in irrigated systems. 
  • Identify the fluxes (flows) of water and energy in an irrigated soil-plant-atmosphere system.
  • Describe how the Irrigator’s Equation can be used to quantify the four (4) major variables involved in managing irrigation systems.
  • Use the principle of conservation of mass to determine the water budget (also called water balance) of a soil-plant-atmosphere (SPA) system. 
  • Use the principle of conservation of energy to determine the energy budget (also called energy balance) of a SPA system.

Time Required: We estimate it will take you 2 hours in total to complete the lesson.  You can work on it at your own pace and do not have to complete it in one setting.

Who Would Benefit:  A variety of people will find this upskilling course useful from adults to high school students.  This includes careers (or hobbyists) growing plants (ie field crops, greenhouse production, turf and lawns, gardens, etc.) and wishing to save money and water by better timing irrigation applications.

Upskill Credentials: If you finish the entire course including passing a final quiz (which you can take up to 3 times), then you will earn a badge certificate of completion.  This has also been approved for 2 Soil and Water Management CEUs through the national Certified Crop Adviser program.

Instructor: Dr. Allan A. Andales is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Irrigation and Water Science in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University (CSU). He has a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Andales applies principles of soil and water engineering, environmental biophysics, and numerical methods to study the effects of management practices and environmental factors on field hydrology and agricultural production. Experimental data are used to develop computer models and decision support tools that can improve agricultural water use efficiency and water quality. He is a member of the CSU Extension Water Resource Management Team that engages the public in addressing agricultural and urban water issues in Colorado.

ADA Accessibility: We have done our best to follow ADA best practices. Let us know if you run into any problems or require further accommodations.

Acknowledgements: This online micro-credential upskilling course is offered through the CSU Ag Upskilling program.  Development was supported in part by funding from the CHS Foundation, administered by Colorado State University (2022).  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.  Learn more at CHS Foundation.




To purchase and enroll in the course, click the following button:

Online course for select Colorado high schools, as part of the CSU Ag Upskilling program.  

Development of this Badge was supported in part by funding from the CHS Foundation, administered by Colorado State University (2022).  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture. 

Learn more at CHS Foundation.

Email Dessa.Linsley@colostate.edu to receive an access key code and course instructions.


This CSU Badge introduces foundation principles on how internet-of-things (IoT) technology and sensors can be used to provide real-time soil moisture and weather data, allowing growers to improve the timing and amounts of irrigation – saving water and avoiding plant water stress. These general principles are applicable to either landscape or agriculture irrigation sectors, including a wide range of scenarios such as efficiently watering a backyard garden, growing vegetables in a greenhouse, maintaining golf courses and lawns, as well as irrigating large crop fields. Using a kit containing sensors and a wireless IoT microcontroller, participants will gaine hands-on experience building, programming, and using their own IoT (i.e, sensor-based) system to monitor soil water levels based on real-time data. Using an experiential learning approach, learners will gain new knowledge on how IoT sensor technology and the resulting real-time data can be leveraged to improve irrigation decisions and save water. Program was funded in part by the CHS Foundation and Colorado State University.

       

This online mini-course is intended for anyone new to seed science, plant breeding or even general agriculture, about to begin employment in agriculture outside of their family business or wishing to improve their current skills and knowledge. 

Development of this Badge Course was made possible through a collaboration between Colorado State University and the United States Department of Agriculture. 

This course is supported in part by grant 2020-70003-30930 from the USDA-NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant Program, administered by Colorado State University. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA-NIFA.