Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Smart Water Use on Your Farm

With drought conditions gripping more than half the United States this summer, water-saving strategies are more critical than ever for America's farmers and ranchers. That is why SARE's 16-page bulletin, Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch, is an excellent primer on conservation-oriented approaches to water use.

Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch spotlights innovative, SARE-funded research into a range of conservation options including soil management, such as using compost, conservation tillage and cover crops; plant management, featuring crop rotation, water-conserving plants and rangeland drought mitigation; and water management strategies such as low-volume irrigation and water recycling.

The bulletin also features farmers like Kupers, Hines and Upton who are managing soil to improve infiltration, selecting drought-tolerant crops and native forages, and designing innovative systems for tillage, irrigation and runoff collection.

At the end of the bulletin is a list of resources where readers can get more in-depth information.

Because there is a wide range of soil management practices that can have a significant impact on water use and availability, these other SARE titles offer important guidance to farmers and ranchers concerned with water issues:

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition
Crop Rotation on Organic Farms

Other resources available through SARE include:
Irrigation Energy Webinar Series - These three videos, produced with a SARE grant by University of Wisconsin Extension Specialist Scott Sanford, describe how to ensure your irrigation system is operating at maximum efficiency.

Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use - This Iowa State University Extension video, produced with SARE funding, describes how to build a system to catch, store and reuse the rainwater for irrigation in a high tunnel.

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