Delano-Earlimart ID (DEID) has kept informal statistics on the use of drip and micro-irrigation (drip/micro) within its boundaries for several years. These statistics showed that there has been only a slight increase in the acreage of these systems over the past 10 years. Because the rate and extent of conversion to drip/micro may influence the type of future water delivery service needed from DEID, DEID management is interested in knowing more about farmer perceptions regarding these newer irrigation methods.

DEID obtained a grant from USBR Mid-Pacific region to examine perceptions of its farmers regarding future conversions to drip and micro-irrigation. DEID then contracted with the Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to conduct and analyze a survey of DEID farmers with the objectives of answering these questions:

  1. Do farmers with drip/micro have different perceptions of drip/micro than the farmers who do not have drip/micro?
  2. What do farmers consider to be benefits and disadvantages of drip/micro?
  3. What, if any, bottlenecks to drip/micro adoption exist which the district might help remove?

ITRC developed an initial survey and an ITRC representative and Dale Brogan (DEID manager) met with a small group of growers on December 9, 1997. The growers completed the survey, and in the process provided valuable input on how to improve the questionnaire.

The December meeting resulted in the following changes:

  1. Questions about actual acres of various irrigation methods were removed to protect the privacy of individual ownership units. Instead, questions were phrased in terms of “percentages”.
  2. Questions about specific costs were removed, since many farmers felt that this information was private.
  3. Questions about fields in other irrigation districts were removed.
  4. The survey was reduced in scope. The first survey asked detailed questions by crop, and also asked some questions for which everyone gave the same answer.

The final Survey can be found in Appendix A. Forty-five farmers returned the completed forms.

This report presents pertinent data and results.


Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bae_fac/159