Three methods whereby farmers can ensure that they can still have enough water to be productive in a very dry season

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Three methods whereby farmers can ensure that they can still have enough water to be productive in a very dry season

 

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  1. There are more than just three methods whereby farmers can ensure that they can still have enough water to be productive in a very dry season.

    1. Drip Irrigation

    Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to a plant’s roots, reducing the evaporation that happens with spray watering systems. Timers can be used to schedule watering for the cooler parts of the day, further reducing water loss. Devoto Gardens, Glashoff Farms, and Twin Girls Farm are a few of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farms that irrigate their crops with drip irrigation lines. Properly installed drip irrigation can save up to 80 percent more water than conventional irrigation, and can even contribute to increased crop yields.

     

    2. Irrigation scheduling

    To ensure you still have enough water to be productive in a very dry season, as a farmer you should water your plants  at night to slow down evaporation, allowing water to seep down into the soil and replenish the water table.

    3. Capture and store rain water whenever possible

    While many farmers rely on municipal water or wells (groundwater), others )smart ones) have built their own ponds to capture and store rainfall for use throughout the year.

    4. Plant appropriate cover crops

    Planted to protect soil that would otherwise go bare, cover crops reduce weeds, increase soil fertility and organic matter, and help prevent erosion and compaction. This allows water to more easily penetrate the soil and improves its water-holding capacity.

    Examples of cover crops are legumes and grasses (including cereals) are the most extensively used, but there is increasing interest in brassicas (such as rape, mustard, and forage radish) and continued interest in others, such as buckwheat.

    5. Rotational grazing

    Rotational grazing is a process in which livestock are moved between fields to help promote pasture regrowth. Good grazing management increases the fields’ water absorption and decreases water runoff, making pastures more drought-resistant. Increased soil organic matter and better forage cover are also water-saving benefits of rotational grazing. Bodega & Yerba Santa Goat Cheese and Marin Sun Farms, among others, practice rotational grazing to keep their pastures and animals healthy.

     

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