Energy Trust offers incentive for more efficient irrigation

Energy Trust of Oregon will offer growers a cash incentive to deploy smarter irrigation practices.

Energy Trust of Oregon will offer growers a cash incentive to deploy smarter irrigation practices.

Energy Trust of Oregon is offering a cash incentive to farmers willing to try out a high-tech irrigation system that could bump up crop yields while reducing energy consumption.

Energy Trust, a Portland nonprofit that works with utility customers on energy savings and renewable energy projects, announced Wednesday a new incentive for Scientific Irrigation Scheduling of $5.20 per irrigated acre. The incentive promises to cover the lion's share of the cost of service and equipment for as many as three years.

Scientific Irrigation Scheduling, also known as irrigation water management, uses soil moisture sensors and weather data to allow growers to fine-tune irrigation to meet crop moisture needs. Energy Trust will connect farmers with vendors across the state that offer the service and software to meet the organization's spefication's for energy savings.

Growers can expect to see energy savings of 10 percent or more and potentially will reduce the use of fertilizer. Crop yields increase by an average of 1 percent to 2 percent, according to Energy Trust officials.

To learn more about the incentive, visit www.energytrust.org/ag.

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