Association Urges Farmers To Avoid Plowing, Use Alternate Techni - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Association Urges Farmers To Avoid Plowing, Use Alternate Techniques

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ARDMORE, OK -- Farmers plowing their fields it's a common sight in this part of the world. But because of drought conditions farmers across Texoma are being asked to avoid plowing.

Most jobs fit into a routine. But for most farmers there's usually a degree of unpredictability.

"The big key is just saving moisture and keeping your land from blowing," said Jim Moore, a farmer in Thackerville.

Farmers like Jim Moore in Thackerville are being urged by the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts to not plow their fields this spring.

With a continuing drought across the southern plains association president Kim Farber says dust storms and erosion could become worse with plowing.
 
"If we were to lose that top few inches of soil to wind or water erosion we'd be losing a majority of our plant growth nutrients," said Jim Johnson Jr. a soil & crops specialist at Noble Foundation.

Consultants at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore say farmers can use alternative methods, such as no till and reduced till plowing, to conserve water and lower fuel costs.

"Every time we till the soil we lose moisture to evaporation," said Johnson. "So if we reduce tillage we reduce our moisture loss to evaporation."

In addition to the reduced till and no till methods, farmers also use the residue from last year's crop which they call stubble to lay on top of their fields to retain moisture and to keep the top soil from blowing away.

Moore already uses a reduced till method on several of his fields and recommends others do the same.

"It just saves your moisture and it just keeps your moisture where the good lord put it right here in place," said Moore.

Moore says the methods will come in handy this summer.

"Long term it's not looking too good for moisture right now and we got to make every drop of rain count," said Moore.

  Agriculture experts say even though there's less plowing done in reduced till farming, it doesn't effect the amount of crops yielded during harvest.