Preliminary data shared by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service reveals that winter storm Uri led to agricultural losses worth $600 million. “Many farmers, and others engaging in commercial agriculture in Texas were the most affected by winter storm Uri,” said Jeff Hydes. The AgriLife Extension Bryan-College Station director adds that the freezing temperatures and ice harmed and even killed crops and livestock, resulting in financial difficulties. What’s more, the residual costs and operational setbacks caused by the storm could affect many agricultural producers for years to come.
While the entire agricultural sector experienced losses, citrus fruits, vegetables, and livestock were the state’s biggest losers by commodity. Fortunately, Texas farmers and ranchers can access the State of Texas agriculture relief fund to recover from the effects of winter storm Uri. Below are ways farmers can enhance their agricultural land to boost productivity, adapt to climate change, and earn income.
Embrace crop-livestock-forestry system
Combining crops, forestry, and livestock in farms can help reduce the consequences of extreme weather conditions. It also reduces soil erosion, boosts productivity, and creates opportunities for farmers to produce more than one agricultural product. Whether you’re into small-scale farming or commercial agriculture, integrating your farming system helps you increase food production. Since combined agriculture allows you to integrate crops and livestock, livestock and forestry, crops and forestry, or mix livestock, crop, and forestry, you can also increase the production of energy and timber.
Adapting to changes in field conditions
Farmers worldwide operate in a world full of variables, so it’s critical to monitor changes in weather patterns and soil conditions. Most importantly, you should stay flexible with nitrogen, tillage, and planting strategies. Naturally, adapting to changing agricultural field conditions helps you to increase your yield throughout all seasons. This step entails having the right farm equipment and exploring new tactics to enhance crop and livestock production.
Also, consider buying equipment accessories like rubber tracks for your rotary tiller, cultivating tractors, or spaders to boost traction and productivity on the farm. When buying tracks for farming machinery, search for a trustworthy dealer to ensure you’re spending money on quality rubber tracks and service delivery. According to Skid Heaven, the last thing you want is to wait for your tracks to arrive. So, find a dealer who processes orders and delivers them on time.
Restore degraded pastures
Pasture degradation is a common problem on farmlands and often results in soil erosion. Over time, the soil cannot retain water, and the grass becomes less nutritious for feeding healthy livestock. Luckily, there are ways to rehabilitate degraded pasture on your farm. Note that applying fertilizers is the most conventional method, but it’s not sustainable. With this in mind, consider planting native grass or forage. Also, integrate forestry in the pastures to prevent soil erosion.
Harsh weather conditions like winter storm Uri can have severe effects on crops and livestock, leading to financial problems and operational setbacks. The good news is that farmers can mitigate the risks and impacts of climate change by following simple yet effective tricks. These include introducing integrated agricultural models, rehabilitating degraded pastures, adapting to changing climate conditions, and investing in the right farming equipment and products.