Arizona Fires Published: July 2020
It’s fire season in Arizona, and many of us are all too aware of the effects fire has on the land, private property, and human and animal life. But have you ever stopped to ask WHY fires in Arizona burn as often or as seemingly out of control in the summer as they do? Or how, when controlled, fire could actually be a good thing? “Arizona Fires” is a high-level, scientifically based white paper that looks at and gives readers an understanding of how vegetation and soils across the state are, and have been historically, impacted by fire. (And you don’t need a degree in rangeland or forestry to understand it; this writer can attest to that!) The big question, “what can be done?”, brings home the point of the paper. But don’t worry, we’re not left hanging, an opinion to a solution is offered.
Increasing Irrigation Efficiency Published: August 2020
All Arizona residents are aware that water is a very precious commodity in the state. Water in Arizona comes from three main sources and is applied to three main uses. "Increasing Irrigation Efficiency" is a high-level look at irrigation practices and efficiency as it is applied to agriculture. Learn about the three main methods of agricultural irrigation in Arizona and their efficency rates. Readers will learn how these different metods are applied to different types of crops and how it works with the soil, thus increasing efficency.
Five Princeiples of Soil Health Published: September 2020
While producers in Arizona may currently use efficient practices in growing crops or grazing livestock, certain practices aimed at improving soil health may actually make their production even more efficient and profitable by reducing costs of irrigation, fertilizer and pesticide use, tillage, etc. on farmlands, and by increasing animal production and reducing feeding costs onrangelands. According to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Heath Expert Jay Fuhrer, there are five principles of soil health. Our own AACD Technical Consultant, Dr. Lamar Smith, has analyzed and synthesized them for us here.
Healthy Watersheds Published: November 2020
The hydrologic cycle is precipitation, evaporation, interception, infiltration, percolation, transpiration, runoff. All water in Arizona comes from precipitation on the watersheds (except that in the Colorado River). It is the source of all stream flow, springs, and ground water (some of the latter accumulated over many thousands of years). The main focus of watershed management is to capture and safely release water from precipitation. Capture means to store the water in the soil where it falls to the extent possible. Safe release means to let the excess moisture flow into streams or percolate into ground water slowly so that it does not cause excessive flooding and erosion and has time to percolate into the ground water.