Yonts Water Conference returns April 9 in Gering

Yonts Water Conference returns April 9 in Gering
The Guernsey Dam feeds water from the Guernsey Reservoir to irrigation canals in Wyoming and Nebraska. KNEB/RRN/Guzman
March 12th, 2021 | Chabella Guzman

The Yonts Water Conference will be held on April 9 at the Gering Civic Center in Gering.

The conference is organized by the North Platte River Water for Agriculture Committee, made up of representatives from Extension, local irrigation districts, the North Platte Natural Resources District, agricultural producers, area businesses, and wildlife groups. The committee’s work, including the conference, is supported by an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Agriculture grant.

“This conference will also provide ground and surface water producers the chance to hear of innovative options other producers are using that can help maximize production on their farm when something as critical as water becomes limited,” said Janeene Brown of Deines Irrigation in Gering.

The list of topics and presenters:

  • 2021 Water Outlook and Drought Monitor Update.
  • Current Status of Goshen-Gering/Fort Laramie Tunnel.
  •  Growers Panel: Managing After the Tunnel Collapse.
  •  Panel: Crop Management for 2021.

“Rebooting the Yonts Water Conference is critical as we face new challenges related to extreme weather and the ongoing struggle to maintain and expand our agricultural economy in the face of those weather events or regulatory initiatives.,” said John Berge, general manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District in Scottsbluff.

Robert Busch of Mitchell, an irrigator and GFL Irrigation District Board member, said any time you can educate yourself about water issues is always good. He added the list of topics is full of highlights: “With water, for me, all issues are really important.”

The spring water conference for the North Platte Valley is named in honor of the late Dean Yonts, UNL Irrigation Specialist, who helped start the event.

“I believe a water conference of this magnitude, we can share how the water system works in the North Platte Valley, and it works for every human being who lives here. It feeds your underground water,” said Kevin Adams, Farmers Irrigation District general manager. “You’ll learn about snowpack levels, you’ll learn about how the systems work and numerous things that the public should be interested in – the quality and quantity of groundwater, every issue there is.”

The event will follow Nebraska Extension event policy and Panhandle Public Health District guidelines, including masks and social distancing.

The 2021 conference, organized by a regional group of water stakeholders, will take place Friday,  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gering Civic Center. Lunch will be included. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited, and registration is needed by April 5. To register online, go to https://go.unl.edu/yonts. To register by phone, call 308-632-1230.

More information is available at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center webpage, https://panhandle.unl.edu.

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