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Austin Omer

Austin Omer

Ph.D. Student and Extension Associate

Hometown: Quincy, IL

Education: B.S. in Biological Science, Illinois State University; B.S. in Agriculture Science, Illinois State University; M.S. in Agriculture Science in Illinois State University

The need for intense agricultural irrigation practices despite declining ground water levels continues to place a negative balance on resources of the Mississippi Alluvial Aquifer. Agricultural producers will require innovative and sustainable approaches to water management in order to maintain maximum yields and production cost. My research focuses on irrigation conservation practices that aim to alleviate pressure placed on the Mississippi Alluvial Aquifer. These practices include tail water recovery, on-farm storage, and the use of innovative technologies, such as irrigation meters. Currently, surface water capture systems are on the ground in the Mississippi delta, however, efficiencies of water savings budgets for these systems are not yet known. The main objectives of my research include documenting water savings budgets of different surface water capture and ground water use systems. In addition, efforts will quantify the potential for these re-use systems to decrease ground water consumption. Integrating this research with an economic analysis will provide valuable outreach material to disseminate to producers across Mississippi.

My career interests include continuing research of innovative resource management practices, as well as refining existing technologies to help agricultural producers maintain a sustainable water supply. My personal interest involve fishing, hunting, boating, and off road cycling.