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Feliciana SWCD can assist farmers with tips on making land resilient to drought

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Our partners at the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help you conserve water and build resilience to drought, through conservation practices that improve irrigation efficiency, boost soil health, and manage grazing lands.

CLINTON, La. - eTradeWire -- NRCS helps you improve your irrigation efficiency to ensure each drop of water is used wisely. Saving water on your farm can help during drought and can offset rising water costs; reduce expenditures for energy, chemicals, and labor; and enhance revenues through higher crop yields and improved crop quality. Tools like drip irrigation, which provides water precisely where and when it's needed, can achieve greater precision with flow meters and soil moisture sensors.

Soil health conservation practices, such as reduced- or no-till, cover crops, mulching, and residue management can help to make your soil, and the plants you grow or animals you raise, healthier. Healthier soil can absorb and retain more water for a longer time, making your property more resilient to drought. Using soil health practices, you can conserve water by increasing your soil's water-holding capacity and use conservation tillage to keep the ground covered, reducing water loss through transpiration and evaporation.

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Soil health practices increase organic matter, and each pound of organic matter can hold up to 20 pounds of water. Every 1% increase in organic matter results in as much as 25,000 gallons of soil water per acre. Each 1% increase in organic matter can also provide up to 30 pounds of more available nitrogen per acre. That means less money and time spent on inputs like water and fertilizer, which make your operation more profitable.

Drought also impacts grazing lands, and NRCS works with you to increase the resilience of your livestock operation. Ranchers can adapt to dry conditions in two main ways: increasing the availability and suitability of forage and ensuring that cattle have an adequate and reliable source of water. NRCS conservationists can also work with you to plant more drought-tolerant forage species, plants best suited to local soils and conditions. For reliable sources of water, NRCS can help you with installing watering facilities, water wells, or water pipeline for livestock. Having available forage and water for livestock can make a big difference in difficult drought conditions.

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NRCS is here for you, helping you recover from drought and prepare for the next one. For assistance in determining which state or federal agency to contact, please reach out to Arlene Culpepper of the Feliciana Soil & Water Conservation District and we will be glad to assist you. Our phone number is 225-683-8955 ext. 3. Email is felicianaswcd@gmail.com

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Arlene Culpepper
Feliciana SWCD

Source: Feliciana SWCD
Filed Under: Agriculture

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