"Today's generation brings a modern and technical farming as our forefathers foreseen years ago... a successful business operated by the Navajo Nation."
NAPI's On-Farm Development (OFD) is one of the three departments funded by Public Law 93-638 through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and is earmarked exclusively for development of new irrigation systems. This funding allows for assessment and planning and proceeds to constructing self-propelled irrigation center pivot systems, underground water lines, electrical systems for water control and radio telemetry systems.
NAPI has approximately 700 fully operated radio control systems throughout the farm. Most of the newly developed areas (part of Block 8 and Block 9) are controlled by radio telemetry units (RTU). In the future, OFD's goal is to automate RTU controls on the NAPI Project. In addition, OFD provides training on irrigation systems annually to describe new methods in technology and equipment.
System Upgrades: Like all agribusinesses, NAPI must prepare for droughts and other potential water shortages to ensure that its current water use is as efficient as possible. BIA provides funding to upgrade obsolete irrigation systems. As a result, improved water conservation efforts are achieved and systems function more productively. At the present time, coordinated efforts with NAPI's environmental department to retrofit one field in Block 9: Stage 2 to a drip irrigation system are under evaluation.
Moving Forward: New methods to place sprinkler system charts in electronic files are being evaluated. This will allow management the ability to make quick assessments for necessary parts, types of systems, location and structure.
Construction of irrigation systems to complete Block 9 Stage 1 is underway. Block 9 comprises more than 13,000 acres, one of the largest blocks on the farm. Future plans include assessment, design and layout for Block 9: Stages 2 & 3, approximately 10,000 total new acres. OFD has also developed a five year strategy to manage projects slated through 2018.