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News Brief

Nov. 29, 2012DES MOINES, IA

Drought Proofing

Conservation measures used by farmers have long been used to stop soil erosion, but these days those practices might also help reduce crop loss caused by drought in the coming year.

Wade Dooley farms more than 1,200 acres near Des Moines and says leaving organic material behind keeps the soil and what little water is available in place.

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He says the ability to seal in precious moisture varies depending on the type of soil, so every farmer has to determine the best use of cover crops.

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Some soil experts say a 2 percent increase in organic matter is worth between 40 and 50 dollars per acre in reduced input costs and greatly increase soil water holding capacity in the spring.