LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico State University professor is helping develop a new irrigation system that uses less water. The Micro-Gravity Drip Project collects water in holding tanks, then with the help of gravity, the water flows through the drip tapes to irrigate the crops.

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The system can save farmers more than $1,000 per acre. “Number one, because you can control when to irrigate. Number two you are not flooding your field, but you know water is only moving through these drip tapes and therefore you are able to apply the water closer to the root zone,” said Manoj Shukla, professor of soil physics.

The project also uses plastic trays that are placed over a plant’s roots that help direct any sort of precipitation or water back to the plant. The system can be used for a number of products, including chile, pecans, onions, and alfalfa.