Playas Provide Clean Water for Future Generations

A healthy playa lake is a primary way groundwater is replenished by surface water. And a playa with a perimeter plant buffer traps sediments and improves the quality of water as it moves to the aquifer below. When we can take steps to increase the amount of recharge to the aquifer by conserving and restoring […]

Listen Now >>

A Playa Rehab on the West Texas Plains

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, bought the native grassland on which his playa sits from family members, then protected the playa and its grassland buffer with a permanent Wetlands Reserve Easement. He couldn’t be more happy with NRCS assistance removing sediment from the playa to improve its function and create bird habitat. Learn what’s involved in negotiating a perpetual easement.

Listen Now >>

Playas Provide Direct Recharge Benefits to Landowners

When we started irrigating the High Plains in the 1950s, the Ogallala was understood to be that vast, virtually endless supply of water. When the water table dropped, we thought the groundwater could flow unimpeded from one area to another. But the groundwater of the Ogallala aquifer really doesn’t flow laterally with much speed. Playa […]

Listen Now >>

Clovis Looks to Playas to Help Supply Future Municipal Water

The city of Clovis, New Mexico, is taking an innovative approach to ensuring its future water supply — playa conservation. And what this city of 38,000 is doing might become a model for other municipalities on the High Plains. The city government put a million dollars of economic development funds toward playa conservation. Most immediately […]

Listen Now >>

NRCS Partnership Program Supports Innovative Project

Producer Joel Bergman of Loomis, Nebraska, talks about how he switched from labor-intensive canal and gravity irrigation to pivot and underground drip systems on his 1500-acre operation. The Bergman farmstead prevents one pivot system from sweeping 360 degrees, bypassing the pie-slice where the farmstead is located. Bergman proposed putting in a wiper center pivot and 20-acres’ worth of underground drip irrigation.

Listen Now >>

Kansas Producer Reduces Water Consumption

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is partnering with regional agencies in promoting meaningful actions for water conservation. Certain areas over the aquifer have experienced more groundwater depletion than others. Kansas producer Gary Moss received help through the local groundwater management district to revert part of his irrigated operation to dryland and meet his water consumption goal.

Listen Now >>

NRCS Partnership Program Helps Producers Address Water Issues

The NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program targets funds to priority resource concerns such as a wildlife habitat, erosion control, water quantity, and water quality. Partners, like water conservation management districts, submit proposals to help producers install and maintain conservation activities in select project areas. These proposals often included innovative or experimental approaches.

Listen Now >>

Landowner Enrolls Lagoon in Wetlands Reserve Easement

Dave Hilfterty grows dryland winter wheat and irrigated corn in Perkins County, Nebraska. Dave had a challenge that was perfect for a Wetlands Reserve Easement. Amongst his five irrigation circles there’s a lagoon, which he got tired of trying to farm through.

Listen Now >>

Producer Group Uses Soil Practices to Preserve Moisture

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. A group of Northwest Kansas producers meets regularly to discuss production practices. These growers are firm believers in no-till and planting cover crops whenever it’s feasible. While some producers say cover crops unnecessarily sap moisture, members of Living Acres Network are more likely to say that the careful selection of a cover crop leaves residue that helps build the soil for better precipitation infiltration.

Listen Now >>

Wetlands Reserve Easement in Kansas

McPherson County landowner Dale Schmidt bought ground he intended to farm, but often it was too wet to plant or to harvest. He’s pleased he enrolled the land as a perpetual wetland easement. Schmidt and his NRCS District Conservationist Blake McLemore discuss the improvements made to the parcel.

Listen Now >>