Using NRCS to conserve water and increase farm production
Certified organic farms are required to maintain and improve natural resources. Covering the costs to take on conservation efforts can be a barrier for some. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers programs that provide technical assistance and funding to get conservation projects off the ground.
The unpredictability of extreme weather, fires, and drought make water conservation a top priority for farmers across the United States. Organic farms operate at an advantage. Common practices like mulching and cover cropping improve water holding in soil. Smart water conservation means less irrigation and better resilience.
At Front Field Farm in Winterville, GA, farm owners Jacqui Coburn and Alex Rilko worked with their local NRCS office to implement an irrigation water conservation plan.
- Help from experts. An NRCS agricultural engineer assessed the soil’s water holding capacity, cropland production, and water quality.
- Improve conservation and farm production. The final irrigation plan improved water usage to deliver the right amount of water, prevent nutrient loss, and improve soil fertility.
- Get resources to make it happen. NRCS helped cover the majority of the cost of drip lines, water pumps and other irrigation system tools.
For over 10 years, Oregon Tilth and NRCS have partnered to increase conservation on organic farms across the nation. Our team can help you navigate NRCS and provide assistance to meet natural resource goals on your farm.