Penton Media has developed an online Continuing Education Unit (CEU) course that covers the use of mechanical irrigation systems to apply fertilizers and crop protection products. The course, sponsored by Valmont Irrigation, the manufacturer of Valley center pivots and linears, can be taken online at no charge. It is fully accredited by the American Society of Agronomy for Certified Crop Advisors, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CalDPR) and the Arizona Department of Agriculture for licensed consultants, applicators and pest control advisers (PCAs).

Titled Agronomic Principles and Efficient Chemigation and Fertigation Using Center Pivot/Linear Sprinkler Systems, the course discusses the interrelationship between efficient irrigation principles and the application of fertilizer and pesticides. It can be accessed on Western Farm Press, Corn & Soybean Digest Valley Irrigation and Farm Industry News. It is also linked from California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA).

Irrigation provides vital economic role in farm production

About 16% of all harvested cropland in the U.S. is irrigated. This acreage generates nearly half the value of all crops sold, according to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). Approximately half of the farms in the 17 western states use pressure irrigation systems such as center-pivot sprinklers and others. More than 27 million acres are irrigated with sprinkler systems, and the acreage continues to increase.

“Growers are saving considerable time and money in using highly efficient center pivot and linear irrigation systems to deliver the nutrients and crop protection products,” according to Wendell Dorsett, Valmont’s senior water application engineer and a worldwide expert in the design and operation of irrigation systems.

The course is one of more than 20 now offered by Farm Press/Penton Media. The first Farm Press course was launched in summer 2004. Since its inception, almost 20,000 courses have been completed online.

Course extends CEU program offering

“Working with Valmont in offering this unique chemigation online course is a bit of a new direction in the CEU program,” say Greg Frey, Penton Agriculture Group vice president. “Heretofore the courses we have developed have dealt primarily with pest management. With this new Valmont-sponsored course we are venturing into an allied and critical area, application technology.”

Frey says the convenience of offering continuing education courses online 24/7 for licensed/certified agricultural professionals has proven very popular.“The number 20,000 speaks for itself,” says Frey. “Companies like Valmont realize that they are providing a valuable service to very busy agricultural professionals by sponsoring these CEU courses. We are told repeatedly by people who complete these courses that they are not only providing valuable information, but they also allow consultants to gain necessary CE hours and units without taking time out of their busy day schedules.”

The Valmont-sponsored course should be particularly popular with Certified Crop Advisors since it is accredited for two units in soil and water management, one of the most sought-after continuing education categories. It is also accredited for three hours (one law, one regulations and one other) by CalDPR and two hours by the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

Direct link to Chemigation and Fertigation course .