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  • Former NRCS water-quality coordinator Denise Middleton and Larry Womack discuss lush native prairie grasses that grace Womack’s operation on a hill overlooking the area’s last upstream flood-control project. Womack says the lake covered 46 acres of cropland but now protects hundreds of acres downstream, Image by Dan Crummett

    Protected Flow

    For Dick Tatum, the past 15 years have seen a tremendous number of changes in his farm and farming methods all in an effort to protect the sensitive watersheds in southeastern Kansas that supply drinking water for thousands of Kansans and in nearby Oklahoma.

  • Old river bends offer a rich reward through cleansing runoff and providing habitat.

    Oxbows: Conservation Treasures

    Oxbows--cut off river bends that are often found as small, seasonally wet depressions along field edges--can be multipurpose conservation tools. Oxbows can store floodwater, filter runoff or drainage from tile lines, and act as nurseries for breeding fish.

  • Stewart Robinson (left) helped Cameron Dinkins transition Esperanza Outdoors from a hunting club to a waterfowl guiding service, Image by Linden Plantation

    Flash Of An Idea

    Cameron Dinkins was home from college during Thanksgiving break when a streak of lightning lit up the farmland surrounding his family home, Linden Plantation, in Glen Allan, Mississippi. It had been raining for most of the day, and in that brief glimpse outside, he saw vast...

  • Brett Reinford (right) talks with worker Dennis Walton in the “depackagingâ€? building, where food waste is separated from its packaging and blended in the anaerobic digester with the manure, Image by Tom Gralish

    Waste Not, Earn More

    When Steve Reinford and his son, Brett, decided to invest in an anaerobic digester for the family dairy operation in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, in 2008, the two had different reasons for pursuing the technology. Making money wasn't necessarily one of them, but it has...

  • William Hall competes in his local County Sligo, Ireland, events to qualify for the National Ploughing Championships, where he came in fifth in his class, Image by Greg Lamp

    A Passion For Ploughing

    Perfectly straight. Precise depth. Well-turned with a round back. In a nutshell, that's how judges describe what they're looking for from contestants at the National Ploughing Championships.

  • John Fleming turned to an ancient crop—sorghum—to help manage his bottom line through drought. Durham, North Carolina, brewer Fullsteam blends North Carolina-grown sorghum into its Sorghum Foxfire IPA, Image by Will and Deni McIntyre

    New Day For Sorghum

    Peter Fleming looks for crops that can maximize profits even in drought. That's one reason the North Carolina grower turned to sorghum, a crop University of Tennessee crop marketing specialist Aaron Smith calls "this ancient grain."

  • Soil health improves by leaving barley stubble a full year without tillage, Brian Neufeld says, Image by Susan Artaechevarria

    Brewing Up Water Savings

    In Colorado's San Luis Valley, Brian Neufeld considers it a victory to save even 1 inch of irrigation water. The aquifer feeding his wells normally recharges relatively fast, but it has declined during the extreme drought of recent years. Now, area farmers are trying to...