Random Read

Momentous Grant to Spur Driftless Area Conservation {excerpt}

On a drizzly day this spring, Vernon County dairy farmer Tim Servais drove past one of his ridgetop fields. Rain had been falling for a week. The ground was saturated. “You shouldn’t have water standing on the ridge. That means it’s pretty doggone wet out there,” he said, pointing to a puddle in a field of alfalfa. On ridgetop land like his, the risk of soil or nutrients running off is high. But the alfalfa, a cover crop, helps keep the earth in place. Thanks to cover cropping and other conservation techniques—planting in contour strips, clearing old gullies of brush and trees, and reshaping ditches into gentle swales—water that runs off Servais’s fields will take little else with it.