The University of Alabama is leading a study on irrigation-fed farms in the Deep South. Less than 4 percent of Alabama’s farms are irrigation-fed, though it is the fourth wettest state in the country.
Dr. Hamid Moradkhani is the lead principal investigator on the project, whose research could potentially lead to a Southern economic revival.
“Deep South states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia, continue to experience the highest poverty rates in the nation. In our project we hope to provide a refined assessment that can significantly contribute towards sustainable and equitable economic resurgence of these states,” Moradkhani said.
With their $1.75 million grant, the team will study how various levels of irrigation affect agriculture productivity, energy production and water supply. They will also evaluate the influence of climatological, sociological and economic factors on farmers' willingness to make the change from rain-fed to irrigation-fed farming.