Water

Rainfall.PNG

We just got a much needed rain!  Our crops and pastures were suffering from lack of moisture.  Wind storms were blowing dry soil and cutting off plants, while cattle ranchers were making hard choices about selling their herds.

But we also know that for many farms in the USA, there is far too much water.  Farms are saturated and many acres have not been planted. Even those acres where farmers have been able to “mud in” the crop, the plants are stressed by cold and saturated soil.

IrrigationWell_Drillingtruck.jpg

So water affects us all in different ways, and its impact cannot be understated.  On our farm we have been investigating both irrigation and tile drainage options to help with water management.  The initial investment for either type of water management is not small. Each requires a number of preliminary paperwork and regulatory steps, as well as boots on the ground surveys of the land conditions and natural water levels and flows.

Water management is a growing challenge for farmers and needs high tech solutions in order to address sustainability from an environmental and financial standpoint. Keep reading this week as we talk about the impact of water.

PLS Focus Group Reflections

Blogger.jpg

Peer-to-peer discussions are valuable for many reasons.  It is important to learn about other perspectives, priorities and values and it is interesting to me when this information comes through in a discussion about farming practices.  After participating in a focus group hosted by Precision Land Solutions I left feeling energized and positive about the future of farming. 

My biggest take-away from the conversations today was this: Farmers are concerned with being good stewards of the land.  Regardless of what motivates this priority, it was very evident that farmers are invested in practicing environmental stewardship and environmental sustainability.  This was evident in the fact that we took time out of our usual schedules to participate, and evident in the content of the conversations.

Water management has a huge impact on soil health, and naturally, soil health is a large factor in determining crop health.  Therefore, farmers make time to learn and navigate the laws and regulations, obtain permits and complete paperwork.  This also means investing in conversations with neighbours and spending money on infrastructure, in order to improve soil health.  Solution-oriented, peer-to-peer conversations help each of us to reflect on our practices and learn from others.   Although PLS commissioned this focus group to ensure that their vision and services align with farmer needs, the conversations were just as valuable to each of the producers in the room.

I learned about land and water resource management, and of equal benefit was the positive energy and optimism of the conversation.  Spring is in the air and we can’t wait to get started on another crop year.