On World Water Day, we remember the value of water. An essential in all aspects of life, we know that it’s exceptionally important to our farmers and ranchers, whose livelihoods depend upon it. The following books are meant to provide guidance in ways to maximize this important resource.
Drought: Managing For It, Surviving & Profiting From It
Of all natural disasters, drought weighs most heavily for those of us in agriculture. It takes an emotional toll as it seems to go on and on with no end in sight. Waiting, hoping, and praying for rain leads most farmers to inaction until they run out of expensive hay supplements and an unplanned complete herd liquidation. Drought: Managing For It, Surviving & Profiting From It offers techniques to use in order to survive “dry spells” that occur nearly every year. Drought is normal, only the severity changes. As this book explains, you can manage for drought, survive it, and profit at a time when others are selling out!
Water In Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World
In this timely, important book, Judith D. Schwartz, who has previously spoken at Acres U.S.A. conferences, presents a refreshing perspective on water that transcends zero-sum thinking. By allying with the water cycle, we can revive lush, productive landscapes. Like the river in rural Zimbabwe that, thanks to restorative grazing, now flows miles further than in living memory. Or the food forest of oranges, pomegranates, and native fruit-bearing plants in Tucson, grown through harvesting urban wastewater. Or the mini-oasis in West Texas nourished by dew. Animated by stories from around the globe, Water In Plain Sight is an inspiring reminder that fixing the future of our drying planet involves understanding what makes natural systems thrive.
Water for Any Farm
What you will read in this book is tried and true. It is intended to give a sufficient background to any landowner so that they can optimize their water resource for higher site productivity, have greater drought resistance and just as importantly, to know deep in their heart that they have made even one little piece of earth a little more life-filled, livable and green. This book is a distillation of over 25 years of on-the-ground experience working with and modifying the Yeomans’ Keyline Plan. From the back yard suburbs to 10,000-acre ranches and everywhere in between, from permafrost mountainsides just shy of the Arctic Circle, to equatorial boulder fields of East Africa, areas with 300 inches of rain per year to those with less than 3 inches, the Keyline design methodology and its modified forms were personally tested by the author to create a comprehensive guide!
The Drought Resilient Farm
Rainfall levels are rarely optimal, but there are hundreds of things you can do to efficiently conserve and use the water you do have and to reduce the impact of drought on your soil, crops, livestock, and farm or ranch ecosystem. Author Dale Strickler introduces you to the same innovative systems he used to transform his own drought-stricken family farm in Kansas into a thriving, water-wise, and profitable enterprise, maximizing healthy cropland, pasture, and water supply. Ranging from simple, short-term projects such as installing rain-collection ollas to long-term land-management planning strategies, Strickler’s methods show how to get more water into the soil, keep it in the soil, and help plants and livestock access it.
Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land
With climatic uncertainty now “the new normal,” many farmers, gardeners and orchardists in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in the face of climate change. In Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, Gary Paul Nabhan, one of the world’s experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands, draws from the knowledge of traditional desert farmers to offer time-tried strategies including building greater moisture-holding capacity and nutrients in soils, protecting fields from damaging winds, drought and floods, reducing heat stress on crops and livestock and keeping pollinators in pace and in place with arid-adapted crop plants. This practical book is replete with detailed descriptions and diagrams showing how to implement desert-adapted practices in your own backyard, orchard, or farm to mitigate the impact of these rapid changes.