water conservation Tag

A study in California's Imperial County showed that using drip irrigation on sweet corn crops conserves water, reduces fertilizer use, and boosts crop yield. About 8,000 acres of sweet corn are planted in the county each year. In this study of 11 sweet corn fields, the six fields that were drip irrigated used an average of 37% less water than the fields that were furrow irrigated. They also showed a 5% increase in yield. The study also showed that the drip irrigation helped farmers save 25% in fertilizer costs, compared corn fields that were furrow irrigated. ...

An international study published in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth's Future predicts that agricultural water scarcity is expected to increase in more than 80% of the world's croplands by 2050. Researchers developed a new index to measure and predict water scarcity in agriculture's two major sources: soil water that comes from rain, called green water, and irrigation from rivers, lakes and groundwater, called blue water. The researchers found that under climate change, global agricultural water scarcity will worsen in up to 84% of croplands, with a loss of water supplies driving scarcity in about 60% of those croplands. Researchers...

Related ATTRA Publication: The Irrigator's Pocket Guide As some California farmers struggle with drought conditions, many Central Coast farmers can provide models of successful water conservation, reports the Monterey Herald. Farms that were threatened by saltwater intrusion decades ago have developed strategies for farming successfully with less water, such as recycling wastewater, using drip irrigation, and choosing crops that require less water. Some farmers use dryland techniques to produce crops that don't need to be watered for months at a time. Improving soil organic matter can also help the soil hold water longer....

In this episode, Andrew Coggins, director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Rocky Mountain West regional office, continues his conversation with farm manager John Wallace about research in season extension and other topics at NCAT’s SIFT farm. Both Andrew and John work out of Butte, Montana. SIFT — or Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training program — aims to help communities increase their food security by producing their own healthy food. SIFT, with NCAT, has a working, sustainably managed, demonstration farm on five acres at our Butte office. This farm is the center of a program that teaches farmers and future farmers, urban food...

In this episode, Colin Mitchell, a sustainable agriculture specialist based out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, is joined by Jeanne Merrill, policy director at the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Colin and Jeanne discuss different “Climate Smart Agriculture” tools and policies in California, including the Healthy Soils Program; the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program; the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program; the Sustainable Agriculture Lands Conservation Program; the Alternative Manure Management Program; and the Climate Adaptation Program. They also discuss carbon markets, water quality trading, and other issues. Related ATTRA Resources: Publications Payments for Ecosystem Services Agriculture, Climate Change, and Carbon...