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Well-planned conservation practices have many benefits
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Now that harvest time has passed for most farmers, it's a great time to plan ahead for next year.Cost share funds for certain conservation practices such as cross fencing, water tanks, and cover crops, etc. are available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)'s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).Cross fencing and water tanks partnered with rotational grazing of livestock can help save pasture and reduce the amount of hay needed and reduce fertilizer costs.During times of drought, as the one experienced this past year, pastures can become overused and water sources such as ponds dry up.Rotational grazing and livestock water troughs or tanks that serve multiple fields can lessen the damaging effects of droughts.Weed control is also a benefit of rotational grazing. By confining livestock to a certain area, the livestock will eat forages and/or forbs more efficiently and less forage gets too mature.These conservation practices though are not quick fixes or quickly implemented. To be effective, a good prescribed grazing plan is necessary along with routine soil tests, pasture inventories/evaluations, and livestock health assessments.