NISLAND, S.D. — Water and how it’s managed can be a major factor in a successful farm or ranch.
But when a statewide drought threatens a valuable resource like H-two-O, it’s up to our producers to take what they have and make the most of it.
To help our future generations do that, local producers brought their children to the Butte/Lawrence County Fairgrounds on Saturday to learn from soil health experts about how that resource can be managed.
“We need to think about how to conserve water in all aspects, and for agriculturalists, that’s certainly important of how to hold water on the land and keep it of a quality that usable for crops and livestock production,” said Dave Ollila, a Soil Health Specialist, with the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition.
At the event, the kids were given a down to earth look at soil – which featured a rain simulation.
Those experts pointed to the western U.S.’s problem of water and how these producers need to look at how the water system works.
A big part of that cycle is knowing where you stand with what’s on your farm – especially as you plan for the next major drought.
“Now is the time to begin planning for the next time drought hits, it could be next year, it might be a few years from now but we have technical specialists in field offices throughout the state that can make a site visit to your place and talk about the barriers that you’ve got, challenges that you have, as well as the opportunities,” said Tanse Herrmann, the state Grazinglands Soil Health Specialist, with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In the end, these producers are conserving the water but not just for them.
It’s a trickle effect that goes deeper than the livelihoods for farmers and ranchers and explores how we all use water.
“It’s bigger than just agriculture and it’s an environmental thing that not just as local, regional or national impacts, but a global impact of how we manage our environment will serve agriculturalists but also every person in the world,” Ollila said.
Soil professionals helping future producers navigate conservation waters.