Water Conservation Methods

(Brad) I’m Brad Shogren, I’m a producer from McPherson County in central Kansas. We’re a diversified farm operation with my son. We raise a variety of different crops, corn, soybeans, sweet sorghum, sometimes some sunflowers and alfalfa. We do have some irrigated land that we water our crops with. We also have a stocker backgrounding operation at home to where we feed a few livestock every year. We employ several different conservation methods to enhance and improve our ground. Probably the backbone of what our ground that we use would be our terraces and waterways which we use to eliminate the soil erosion on our farm. We’re not no till, but use conservation tillage where we try and leave a certain amount of residue on the surface. And we’re always looking for new and better methods that we can utilize. We employ and use some grass strips along some streams to prevent some fertilizer and herbicide runoff to enter those streams. And while we’re talking about streams, one of the big problems in our area is we have a lot of stream banks that are becoming unstable and going vertical on us that can cause considerable erosion, loss of farm ground. And then working for the last 10 or 15 years to address some of those sites with different techniques and methods to stabilize those banks. On a local level I serve on our Conservation District Board. I’m currently chairman. I’ve been on that board 10 or 12 years. Through that endeavor I was elected to the State Conservation Commission and so I serve now as a governing body for the Division of Conservation under the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Also been involved in the WRAPS groups in our local area in the formation of the Smoky River WRAPS. And that group was formed to address the stream bank sites on the Smoky Hill. And we’ve been very effective in that group to where we’ve done somewhere around 20 sites on the river. And there’s still much more that needs to be done, but we’re also looking at employing different methods to address the water quality concerns that are in the Smoky. We’re looking at the livestock facilities up and down the river to make sure that there’s no runoff coming off those facilities and to improve the stream flow. In the Smoky there’s no impediments such as herbicide carryover. But we are aware what is going on there. So, we do promote good management of those herbicides when they are applied.

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