Doug Stanko was born, raised, and continues to live in Lomond, Alberta. Doug has been producing a variety of crops over the last 30 years since taking over his Dad’s farm at an early age. He grows around 1000 acres of seed alfalfa in addition to timothy, canola and cereals.
Over the last two years, Doug has installed PMDI on 5 quarter section pivots and SDI on 2 dry pivot corners totalling around 30 acres. He saw how just a couple timely rains produce surprisingly good dry land crops. This showed him that traditional irrigation needs improving. He wanted to use dry corners to test SDI out and learn all he can from the new irrigating technique prior to installing SDI on entire quarter sections. He is attracted to PMDI for several reasons:
- Ability to irrigate the correct amount and not have to worry about plant stress
- Keep the crop foliage drier, reducing potential disease issues
- Eliminate pivot tracks
- Reduce evaporation
- Keep the crop from lodging
- Ability to water when crop is flowering
- And more…
Doug recognizes the learning curve involved in understanding the new technology and learning these new irrigation methods. But the learning process is worth the risk and the danger of simply being content with the status quo. Doug was very happy with how well his first growing season went with his drip systems and
the results were very promising. He experienced beautiful crops in addition to a decrease in diseases on these acres. A very noticeable observation was the low amount of brown leaf on his PMDI timothy crop compared to his neighbours using sprinkler irrigation. All these benefits occurred while using 20 to 30 percent less water in addition to energy savings due to less irrigation cycles than was formerly used with sprinklers on his pivot.
Doug is quick to recommend drip irrigation to other producers, boasting of the many abilities and attributes drip offers and the potential it has to produce beautiful, healthy and high yielding crops.