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Irrigation Association releases statements regarding the GAO Technology Assessment Report for Irrigated Agriculture

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (Nov. 15, 2019) — In response to the recent release of the Technology Assessment for Irrigated Agriculture report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Irrigation Association staff and leadership have released the following statements.

Statement from IA Government & Public Affairs Director John Farner

The Irrigation Association believes in the inherent environmental, social and economic benefits of efficient irrigation. The recent U.S. Government Accountability Office Technology Assessment for Irrigated Agriculture fails to consider the benefits efficient irrigation provides directly to farmers, allowing them to be more productive, while meeting the demands placed by a growing population.

Efficient irrigation reduces the amount of water lost due to various factors, such as evapotranspiration, wind and overall mismanagement of the irrigation system. This increase in efficiency allows farmers to be more productive, while using the same amount of water. Increased productivity is essential to ensure the United States continues to have a safe and reliable food supply.

While conservation can be a result of efficient irrigation, as was noted in the GAO report, it is not the only factor that should drive public policy. Smart policy supports our farmers, supports our environment and supports all Americans — it should promote efficient irrigation.

Statement from IA Government Affairs Committee Chair & Paige Wireless President Julie Bushell

Giving the right tools to our nation’s farmers and ranchers to be efficient with our nation’s natural resources should never be in doubt. America’s farmers face mounting hurdles to produce the crops needed for our food, feed, fuel and fiber, thus strengthening our national security.

Efficient irrigation gives farmers the tools to precisely apply the right amount of water to crops without waste. Farmers need water. Efficient irrigation can maximize every drop of water applied to a crop. These benefits should drive public policy and never be overlooked.