Plant Management

Plant Management

Plant Management

Plant Management

Researcher Perry Miller in field
Montana State University researcher Perry Miller found that planting peas in rotation with wheat captures water and provides an extra forage crop.
Photo by Carol Flaherty

Selecting plants adapted to the conditions on your farm or ranch can be an important water management strategy. Consider drought-tolerant varieties, often native species that perform well in your climate, for water efficiency. Plants with deep root systems, such as buffalo grass, can stretch to the water table. Finally, some rangeland species -– such as cool-season grasses ideal for cool-climate pastures or their warm-season cousins for hotter zones -– thrive in dry conditions.

What Can You Do?

For information on alternative plants, visit The Jefferson Institute at www.jeffersoninstitute.org.
For more information about water-saving rotations and drought-tolerant plants, visit Cornell University’s “Beach Plum: A new crop for new markets” website at www.beachplum.cornell.edu.
The “12 Aprils Grazing Dairy Manual” describes Tom Trantham’s innovative grazing system. www.griffin.uga.edu/sare/twelve/trantham.html.
Plants for a Future is a resource center for rare and unusual plants, particularly edible, medicinal or other uses. Search the database, which notes habitat preferences for each species. www.pfaf.org/
Consider alternatives to fallow that keep the soil covered. See Managing Cover Crops Profitably.
Consult the PLANTS Database of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) http://plants.usda.gov/. Search under “drought-tolerant” and “native” plants.
See Rangeland Soil Quality Information Sheets at http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/publications.html.

Crop Rotation | Water-Conserving Plants | Rangeland Drought Strategies | TX Farmer Profile

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