Landowner and Producer Kim Renfroe-Johnson of Renfroe Farms focuses on utilizing conservation practices developed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to balance land stewardship and production in Carroll County, TN, on Sept 17, 2019.
A companion video can be seen at youtu.be/IQ5Gj4bvbQU
The Water and Sediment Control Basin (WASCOB) (Practice Code 638) is one of the practices seen here. WASCOBs are earthen dams built across a drainage way where ephemeral or classic gullies form due to concentrated flow of water. It traps water and sediment running off cropland upslope from the structure and reduces gully erosion by controlling flow within the drainage area. These structures are usually completed in a series or system approach to control the grade and head cutting (gully erosion) in drainage ways or along creek and stream channels.
Renfroe Farm uses WASCOBs to reduce erosion sediment in surface water and is leading to improved land use and crop production. ¬Additionally, Underground Outlets (UGOs) (Practice Code 620) are used to carry water to a safe and stable outlet thus reducing the amount of sediment in surface increasing water quality.
In general, an UGO, is a conduit (transport) installed beneath the surface of the ground to carry runoff to a suitable outlet. The purpose of the UGO is to carry excess water to a suitable outlet from terraces, water, and sediment control basins (as described above), diversions, waterways, subsurface drains, surface drains or other similar practices without causing damage by erosion or flooding.
NRCS has a proud history of supporting America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. For more than 80 years, we have helped people make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the quality of our air, water, soil, and habitat.
As the USDA’s primary private lands conservation agency, we generate, manage, and share the data, technology, and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science.
And through one-on-one, personalized advice, we work voluntarily with producers and communities to find the best solutions to meet their unique conservation and business goals. By doing so, we help ensure the health of our natural resources and the long-term sustainability of American agriculture.
Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) is the Department’s focal point for the nation’s farmers and ranchers and other stewards of private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest lands. FPAC agencies implement programs designed to mitigate the significant risks of farming through crop insurance services, conservation programs, and technical assistance, and commodity, lending, and disaster programs.
The agencies and services supporting FPAC are Farm Service Agency (FSA), NRCS, and Risk Management Agency (RMA).
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USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
. Original public domain image from Flickr