Sustainable Water Management Solutions for Farmers Facing Water Quantity Issues

sustainable water management

Despite the Pacific Northwest’s reputation for frequent rainfall, farmers in Oregon’s Marion County have struggled in the last two decades due to drought. In fact, Les Bachelor, district conservationist with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), says the #1 resource concern in Marion County since 2000 has been water quantity, followed by water quality, and then soil erosion. “We live in a Mediterranean climate, meaning we are wet through the fall, winter, and spring,” says Bachelor, “but the time we need rain to grow high value crops, we are completely dry.”  

Marion County is the largest and most diverse agricultural producing county in the state, so it’s imperative that we identify sustainable water management solutions so that Marion County farms can maintain healthy production rates. Companies like Stettler Supply can help farmers combat water quantity issues, reduce water waste, and save farmers energy and money. “We need irrigation to keep up our productive Willamette Valley and keep Marion County the number one county in Oregon for farm production,” says Bachelor.

Stettler Supply Team Invests in Continued Education

In recent decades, the irrigation industry has experienced dramatic technological and system improvements that allow farmers to save time and energy watering their crops. At Stettler Supply, we recognize our unique responsibility to not only offer sustainable water management solutions, but to inform local farmers of the ever-changing list of options available to them. Our co-owners Taylor Meyer and Nolan Grimm are especially passionate about educating Willamette Valley farmers on the wide range of conservation practices and irrigation efficient equipment available.

Since taking the reins at Stettler Supply Company nearly one year ago, we have attended numerous conventions and conferences to continually expand our knowledge of the technology and innovations offered in the irrigation industry. At the start of 2024, we hosted a Reinke Training and Education Day to communicate what we’d learned with local farmers, such as new automation technology and remote monitoring options available with the latest sprinkler technology at Nelson Irrigation Corporation. Innovations like these can help modern Marion County farmers adapt to water quantity issues and maintain consistent crop production.

Stettler Supply Connects Farmers with Industry Experts

One of our primary goals at Stettler Supply Company is to not only assist Willamette Valley customers with identifying sustainable water management solutions for their farms, but to help them access the resources needed to do so. With this in mind, the 2024 Reinke Training and Education Day not only provided local farmers with new insights and information on the efficient irrigation solutions available with modern technology, but it also connected attendees with experts in the industry, like Steve Macoon from Nelson Irrigation Corporation.

We’ve also partnered with local organizations like the NRCS and Energy Trust of Oregon, both of which had representatives in attendance at the Reinke Training and Education Day, to help customers access opportunities for funding to adopt irrigation efficient technology. Thanks to the the NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), for instance, Marion County farmers have received more than 25 million in funding over the last 24 years, says Bachelor. Initiatives like these can help local farmers save water and energy so future generations can continue to maintain and manage their family farms.

A Team Approach to Irrigation

Much of our economy relies on the crops grown and produced by Oregon farms, especially those in Marion County. As a result, the vitality and longevity of these local farms impacts much more than the families running them. We at Stettler Supply Company recognize the value of teamwork and collaboration in the agricultural and irrigation industries. Our team steps beyond selling and installing equipment and even initiating collaborative relationships between farmers and local organizations and experts. We hope to actively assist our customers by listening to their resource concerns and providing personalized solutions to improve their farms.

As we look forward to another year at Stettler Supply, we’re excited for new irrigation technology entering the market, such as the 360 Rain unit, and future partnerships with representatives like Les Bachelor that enable us to better support and serve our customers.


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