Tens of thousands of farmers in the five Gulf states have put conservation practices on more than 22 million acres from fiscal years 2010-2014. Click to watch video.
In a time of need, America’s private landowners voluntarily made conservation improvements to their land to aid recovery following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico region. Landowners are working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to put conservation systems to work on their farms, ranches and forests that clean and conserve water, boost soil health and restore habitat – all while making their working lands more resilient.
Since 2010, tens of thousands have made conservation improvements to more than 22 million acres in the five Gulf states during fiscal years 2010-2014.
“Landowners are really interested and committed to doing good things on their lands, said Wesley Kerr, NRCS area conservationist in southern Mississippi. Read more »
A center-pivot irrigation system uses low pressure-high uniformity to water a cover crop mix that includes Daikon Radish on Mitch Holtzclaw’s farm in O’Brien, Fla. NRCS photo by Doug Ulmer.
For three generations members of Mitch Holtzclaw’s family has farmed land in Suwanee County, Florida. Today, Holtzclaw grows more than 1,000 acres of peanuts, corn and small grains.
His farm is about three miles from the historic Suwannee River, which flows directly into the Gulf of Mexico. The sandy soil types and karst limestone topography on Holtzclaw’s farm are characteristic of the watersheds in the middle Suwannee River Basin and cause for concern over increased nutrient concentrations that can be found in the area’s ground and surface water. Read more »
Tim Mullek and his family, who grow cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, and corn on about 2,500 acres in the Fish River watershed in Alabama, plant cover crops on all of their cropland. NRCS photo.
Days before planting season in April, up to 26 inches of rain had fallen in southern Alabama over a span of two days. This rain event caused historic flooding in Baldwin County in a coastal part of the state, where farmers had freshly tilled fields in preparation for planting crops.
These tilled fields lost valuable topsoil during the flood. But the outcome was different for Tim Mullek and his family, who grow cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat and corn on about 2,500 acres in the Fish River watershed, located about 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Read more »
Ford knows the importance of protecting the natural resources on his land through conservation, so he is able to continue ranching and is able to pass the land onto future generations. Cross fencing and pasture rotation are some of the tools Ford uses to help keep his land healthy.
For Texas rancher Dallas Ford and other Gulf Coast landowners, the Gulf of Mexico Initiative means an opportunity to make a positive difference not only on their lands, but also in the inland waters that flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf of Mexico Initiative (GoMI) is a new program of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and many partners. It is designed to help producers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas improve water quality and ensure sustainable agriculture production. Read more »
Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is a major environmental and economic resource. Conservationists have worked to improve beaches and coastal rivers, including the planting of sea oats in past years.
For Kiln, Miss. resident David Koch, there’s a lot of truth to the expression “everything runs downstream.” Koch’s land borders Rotten Bayou, and he has made great strides to ensure no pollutants wash off his land and into the bayou, which feeds the Gulf of Mexico. Read more »