Interesting piece in the New York Times’ Green Inc. blog today on an initiative in Idaho that pays farmers to shut off their irrigation in the afternoons.
Some experts say that irrigating in the late afternoons is inefficient anyway, because some of the water will evaporate in the heat of the day. However Sid Erwin, who farms alfalfa and other crops in southern Idaho and is vice president of the Idaho Irrigation Pumpers Association, said that most local farms — including his — ran their pumps 24 hours a day. There is not enough evaporation to justify paying to send a worker to turn off the pumps in the afternoon, he said.
With the power company paying, the calculus changes. Mr. Erwin estimates that he could save upwards of $10,000 from the program — out of a $40,000 annual pumping bill. That, he said, should be enough to “pay a man or two or three men” to make sure the pumps are properly turned off and on.
Click here for the post.