This summer certainly should have taught us about the need for water conservation strategies for farmers and ranchers.

As producers throughout the nation grow increasingly concerned about water scarcity, farmers, ranchers and agricultural educators are beginning to explore new, conservation-oriented approaches to water use, according to USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.­ The priorities are managing soil to improve infiltration, selecting drought-tolerant crops and native forages, and designing innovative runoff collection systems.

A SARE bulletin, “Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch,” outlines priorities for water conservation practices on your farm. The bulletin includes quotes and descriptions of what some farmers are doing related to water conservation and systems that require less water to grow a crop.­

The bulletin also includes a list of resources where you can get more in-depth information. The bulletin is available at