Dealing with the drought by using new farming techniques - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Dealing with the drought by using new farming techniques

Posted: Updated:

NewsChannel 10

Bushland, Texas - Finding variations of crops that can withstand drought and using new methods to extend water for irrigation, are now taking a front seat among agriculture studies in the High Plains.

That's because drought conditions are expected to last for years to come.

Producers in the panhandle are learning to do more with less, when it comes to their crops.

But that can't happen without lots of research to find new techniques that insure resources will last well into the future.

One of those techniques is developing variations of crops that can make it without much rain.

Dr. Jackie Rudd with Texas AgriLife Research says, "We're looking at the physiological mechanisms of drought tolerance, as well as new genetics. We're able to do molecular markers and whole genome finger-printing to really know genetically why and where the drought tolerance comes from, instead of just looking out here and saying well, which one looks better."

In times of extreme dryness, making the most out of each drop of water is vital.

That's done by increasing the amount of water that enters the soil and reducing evaporation.

Lining crops with wheat residue seems to do the trick.

USDA Research Soil Scientist Dr. Louis Baumgarten explains, "We increase the amount of water that enters the soil by almost 100% by having the residue on the soil's surface. We get more out of irrigation. More than one-half the water you normally lose to evaporation, is re-routed to the crop."

Wheat residue also protects the crop from the wind, and improves its' growth.

The winter wheat harvest is underway in Texas, and so far, statewide yields are above average.

However, things aren't looking quite as good in the panhandle, with dry land wheat bringing in below average yields.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Pair of homes raided by Comanche Co. Sheriff's Department

    Pair of homes raided by Comanche Co. Sheriff's Department

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:55:42 GMT
    Two Lawton homes were raided by the Comanche Co. Sheriff’s Department Tuesday.
    Two Lawton homes were raided by the Comanche Co. Sheriff’s Department Tuesday.
  • City pays settlement to former LPD chief and officer

    City pays settlement to former LPD chief and officer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:35:58 GMT
    News- LPDNews- LPD
    The Lawton City Council approved a financial settlement in lawsuits filed by former police chief, Ronnie Smith, and former police officer, Robert Puccino Jr., for wrongful termination.  
    The Lawton City Council approved a financial settlement in lawsuits filed by former police chief, Ronnie Smith, and former police officer, Robert Puccino Jr., for wrongful termination.  
  • City: Progress being made at LPD

    City: Progress being made at LPD

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:50:35 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._ City officials say it has taken longer than originally anticipated to put new policies in place within the Lawton Police Department.
    LAWTON, Okla._ City officials say it has taken longer than originally anticipated to put new policies in place within the Lawton Police Department.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.