It’s no secret that the USDA’s National Animal ID System (NAIS) has encountered its fair share of critisism during its first six years on the drawing board. In fact, following hearing sessions hosted by the USDA last year, industry buffs called the program unworkable and unnecessary.
If you imagine in your mind, the irrigated agriculture of California you probably can see a large valve sticking out of the ground with a wheel on top situated in the middle of a massive field with deep furrows. As the valve is turned, water gushes out into the furrows, flooding them to provide water for the crops. Alternatively, you might see large water guns irrigating the fields with booming sprays similar to a lawn sprinkler on steriods. The way of the future will require a much more efficient approach if water use to produce crops in California is to be sustained. Intensive approaches to irrigation have been developed for use in very dry climates where evaporation is heavy and represents a large waste of what little available water is there. In these methods, drip irrigation delivers water right to the root zone in buried or partially buried plastic pipes with small holes to meter out the water. This almost eliminates evaporation waste and the delivery of water to