Water Management

Videos from the Field

SARE, in partnership with Cooking Up A Story, has produced a series of how-to videos showcasing production and marketing practices used by some of the nation’s most successful sustainable farmers and ranchers.

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Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast

This production manual provides comprehensive guidance on conservation tillage systems for farms in the southeastern United States. It covers the core components of conservation tillage systems and includes both regional considerations and producer experiences.

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Free Fact Sheets Identify Broad Benefits of Cover Crops

Along with cutting costs and increasing crop productivity, cover crops provide various ecosystem services that benefit the environment both on and off the farm. For instance, adding cover crops to a rotation can significantly increase the portion of the year when living roots are present for soil organisms to feed on, which can have a […]

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Cover Crop Economics

Cover crops can build soil health, control weeds, conserve moisture, provide grazing opportunities and more. But when do they start to pay for themselves? This analysis looks at the economics behind different management scenarios to determine if cover crops are likely to improve profitability in one, three or five years of use in corn and soybean rotations. 

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New Release: Cultivating Climate Resilience

Texas ranchers Gary and Sue Price began noticing disruptive changes in the weather about 10 years ago, with dry periods getting drier and hot periods getting hotter. So they began making management decisions that would help their ranch adapt. As a result, when the crippling drought of 2011–2012 arrived, they were able to get by. […]

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Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Water Challenges

Water rarely cooperates when it comes to growing crops – sometimes we have too much of it, while other times there just isn’t enough. For Amy Garrett in western Oregon, summer months often bring almost no rainfall. In Iowa, Ron Rosmann sees growing seasons with heavy downpours that increase water quality risks associated with lost […]

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2015/2016 Report from the Field

Read about SARE-funded work in the areas of sustainable dairy cropping systems, soil health assessments, nutrient management, cover crops, beginning farmers, pollinators, technical assistance programs for women farmers, and more. This edition includes highlights of projects funded through the graduate student program, and the highly regarded Sustainable Agriculture Fellowship, a professional development program coordinated by SARE and NACAA.

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Conservation Generation

The Colorado River irrigates 15 percent of the nation’s crops, making the conservation efforts of Western producers crucial to the American food system. Conservation Generation is a new short film by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) about four young farmers and ranchers in the arid West who are committed to conservation practices that conserve water and promote soil health.

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Water Management in Sonoma County Grape Production

The Challenge As in all of California, water is a scarce resource in Sonoma County, a region in Northern California with more than 400 wineries and almost 60,000 acres of vineyards. Wine grape growers face increasing competition for water from different interests, various regulations, and a need to protect threatened and endangered salmonids found in […]

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Water Use Efficiency in Tomatoes

University of California at Davis graduate student Felipe Barrios-Masias and Professor Louise Jackson saw promise in alternative irrigation methods that could use less water but still produce high yields, leading to increased agricultural sustainability and efficiency. Until successfully obtaining Western SARE funds, they were finding it difficult to receive funding for the on-farm research. However, […]

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Sustainable Bioenergy Course

In association with an NCR-SARE Professional Development Program grant, the Bioenergy Training Center, in collaboration with the Farm Energy CoP, has developed a Sustainable Bioenergy Course to provide educational training resources focused not only on the technical feasibility of bioenergy generation, but also on approaches and processes that assist communities in understanding the comprehensive implications of bio-based alternative energy. This course can provide foundational materials for teaching undergraduates or for community education sessions.

Mixed Cover Crops

An informational video on the pros and cons of planting mixed cover crops which are often used to replace fallow. Focus is on effects of cover crops on soil quality in semi-arid regions.

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Dryland Cover Cropping Boosts Yields

Every drop of water counts for farmers who practice dryland cultivation, a practice that relies on rainfall without the benefit of irrigation. So, when it comes to incorporating cover crops into a dryland rotation, many farmers hesitate, wondering: “How much moisture is the cover crop going to demand, and will I pay for it later […]