Producer drought management to be focus of Feb. 19 program in El Paso

EL PASO – An educational program called “Managing Under Drought: Water Management Information for Growers in the Middle Rio Grande” will be offered Feb. 19 in El Paso.

The program is free and will be held from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in El Paso, 1380 A&M Circle.

A program focusing on drought, agricultural production and water management will be held Feb. 19 in El Paso. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

The Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Center for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Texas at El Paso will host the program.

Dr. Askarali Karimov, research associate in Texas A&M University’s biological and agricultural engineering department, said speakers will present research results of two Rio Grande-related projects.

The projects address salinity, alternative crops, marketing and economics, and the impact of drought on future water availability in the middle section of the basin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture project, “Diversifying the Water Portfolio for Agriculture in the Rio Grande Basin,” is led by TWRI director Dr. John Tracy. The USDA-funded project, “Sustainable Water Resources for Irrigated Agriculture in a Desert River Basin Facing Drought and Competing Demands,” is led by Dr. Bill Hargrove, director of the University of Texas at El Paso Center for Environmental Resource Management.

Program topics and speakers will be:

– Salinity issues on the Rio Grande, Dr. Zhuping Sheng, AgriLife Research director, El Paso center.

– Salinity modeling, Dr. Saurav Kumar, research assistant professor, UTEP.

– Salt tolerant, alternative crops, Dr. Girisha Ganjegunte, AgriLife Research associate professor, El Paso.

– Marketing and economics on salinity, salt tolerant and alternative crops, Drs. Samuel Zapata, AgriLife Extension economist, Weslaco, and Gregory Torell, AgriLife Extension environment and natural resource economist, El Paso.

– Drought and climate projection modeling results for the Rio Grande, Dr. Caiti Steele, USDA Agricultural Research Service Climate Hub, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Jesus Reyes, general manager of the El Paso County Water Improvement District No.1, will give district updates during a catered lunch. Orlando Flores, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in El Paso County, will conclude the program with an AgriLife Extension program update.

For more information, contact Karimov at 979-412-9919 or Pete Flores at 915-771-2354.

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Contact: Dr. Askarali Karimov, 979-412-9919, akarimov@tamu.edu

Dr. John Tracy, 979-845-1851, john.tracy@ag.tamu.edu

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