soil conservation

Conservation Tillage Practices
8:00 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

No-Till is not a soil carbon fix

Credit deltafarmpress.com

No-till farming alone won’t build soil carbon.  Recent research revealed that conservation tillage practices don't have any advantage over conventional practices reported Adele Phillips for the Center for Rural Affairs.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Kansas Producer Group Uses Soil Practices to Preserve Moisture

Credit Scott Bauer / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Western Kansas is a semi-arid region, with yearly precipitation at 17-19 inches. Progressive farmers understand their biggest challenge is capturing and holding every drop of moisture they can.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Ogallala Aquifer Initiative: Converting to Dryland Farming

Credit Farm Foundation

Southwest Kansas producer Steve Arnold had been a big irrigator. Ten wells, numerous pivot irrigation systems and 4-wheel-drive tractors on a farm near Johnson City.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Ogallala Aquifer Initiative: No-till and Cover Crops Help Rainwater Basins

Playa Lake in Texas Panhandle
Credit USGS

South-central Nebraska producer John Kinley has a three-acre rainwater basin in a crop field. He talks about progressive practices such as no-till production and cover cropping.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Ogallala Aquifer Initiative: Good Soil Health Practices Benefit Playas

NRCS district conservationist discussing soil health improvement with producer
Credit Scott Bauer / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Playa wetlands benefit from practices that result in good soil health. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says there are four principles to improving soil health:

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Harvest Public Media story
8:01 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Farmville helps explain farm bill

Farmville players build and care for their own Facebook farm. Like real-life farmers, players plan their moves based on policy.
Credit courtesy of Zynga

The farm bill is, once again, entering a critical stretch. As was the case last year, the current law expires at the end of September. There’s no election to dissuade elected officials from tackling the major piece of agriculture and nutrition policy—but Congress does have a pretty full plate, with the crisis in Syria, immigration reform and a measure to continue funding federal government programs all set to come to a head.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Bushland USDA Ag Research Center: 75 years of putting theory into practice

Agriculture Research Service of the Southern Plains
Credit ars.usda.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service of the Southern Plains is on a mission.  For 75 years, they’ve been working, “to sustainably balance today’s livelihoods with tomorrow’s needs.”  An article from the Amarillo Globe-News reported scientists at the facility do more than write research papers, they put them into practice. 

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HPPR Economy and Enterprise
8:43 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

Report criticizes incentives in the Federal Crop Insurance Program

Credit www.nebraska.tv

Farmers across the country received a record breaking 17.3 billion dollars in federal crop insurance payouts after last year’s drought.  While the payments were critical for the financial well-being of farmers, the National Resources Defense Council has issued a report critical of the structure of the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).

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Harvest Public Media story
6:45 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Can Planned Grazing Revive Grassland Soil?

William Burnidge, left, an ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, is working with rancher Nathan Andrews to test out a different method of grazing.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

The world’s soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn’t happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.

In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.

Conventional wisdom tells you, if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that’s not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.

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Harvest Public Media story
7:22 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Prairie plants help restore farmland soil

Seth Watkins says this pond was cloudy from sediment runoff until he cleared cedar trees and scrub brush from an adjacent patch of prairie. With the long roots of the grasses holding soil and trapping nutrients, the pond cleared up.
Credit Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

The world’s soil is in trouble, even in the fertile Midwest. Some experts warn that if degradation continues unchecked, topsoil could be gone in 60 years. That has implications for agriculture and the broader environment.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Windbreak, Part II

Credit NRD

In addition to the role windbreaks play in decreasing soil erosion, these valuable elements of modern day agriculture can increase crop yields, act as environmental buffers, improve air quality, and provide valuable pollinator habitat for bees and other beneficial insects.  Windbreaks can be multifunctional, providing not only protection from the wind, dust and snow, but serving as economic stimulators through the marketing of tree products.  To learn more about the importance of windbreaks and the design basics needed to develop a functioning shelterbelts, take part in the Southern Plains Windbreak Renovation and Innovation Workshop to be held in Dodge City, Kansas May 21 - 23, 2013.  Call the K-State Extension office in Ford County 620-227-4542, or contact Andrea Burns at: aburns@ksu.edu.