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Faces in the Lower Salt Fork of the Arkansas River Watershed | CSP Success Story

Faces in the Lower Salt Fork of the Arkansas River Watershed

Harper County (Kansas) Participant Signs First Conservation Security Program (CSP) Contract

Ralph Arnett showing residue that is protecting the soil in his cotton field.Ralph Arnett was born and raised in California. Not until he met his wife 20 some years ago at a California college, graduated in business, and came to Kansas, did he begin to pursue a career as a farmer. Ralph Arnett farms for the Joan A. Clutter Living Trust, or his mother-in-law.

Ralph raises wheat, milo, cotton, and cattle. He is proud to show the residue in his fields and to tell you about a recent cotton crop that yielded 2-1/2 bales per acre. Only a limited number of farmers raise cotton in southcentral Kansas.

Land that was enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) remains in native grass. The grass is now home to a large population of pheasants and quail. Several years ago these birds were scarce, but now Ralph, his son, and friends enjoy hunting the birds.

Ralph works for the environment. He pours used oil into a barrel that is picked up periodically by an oil reuser. He also collects the farm's dead batteries and recycles them once a year.

When asked about time-management and recordkeeping, Ralph shared a technique he calls "flushing." Ralph takes a few moments when he comes in for supper to jot down a few notes on his desk calendar about what he has done that day, the weather, the markets, and other information he might need later. Ralph says this allows him to spend quality time with his family, and he is not burdened later by trying to figure out what he did several months earlier.

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Faces in the Lower Salt Fork of the Arkansas River Watershed (PDF; 442 KB)