Stewardship has its rewards | CSP Success Story
Stewardship has its rewards: Andrew Larson among Kansas's First CSP Contract Holders
The Andrew E. Larson Sr. Trust Conservation Security Program (CSP) contract is a Tier III contract, in the Middle Arkansas – Lake McKinney Watershed, consisting of irrigated and dryland cropland. The majority of the contract is under center-pivot sprinkler irrigation and is in either an alfalfa-corn-wheat or corn-wheat rotation. A small portion of the contract is dryland cropland in a wheat-sorghum-fallow rotation with a few sprinkler corners in a wheat-fallow rotation.
Andrew Larson Jr., like his father before him, has made the conservation of natural resources an important part of their family operation for many years from being one of the first producers to use sweeps in 1952 to the installation of their first sprinkler irrigation system in 1966. Some of the conservation practices that Andrew Larson Jr. has incorporated into his current operation include: less intensive tillage systems, use of global positioning system (GPS) equipped sprayers and radar units to monitor ground speed in order to improve the accuracy of chemical and fertilizer application, use of yield monitors to assist in more accurate fertilizer application, installation of more efficient irrigation systems and incorporating the use of irrigation scheduling, and the use of terraces to control erosion and maximize the use of available precipitation on dryland cropland. Andrew has also enrolled a number of his sprinkler corners in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
The enhancements that have been applied on this CSP contract include: energy management activities such as the use of perennial legumes in crop rotations to reduce the amount of commercial nitrogen fertilizer being applied; soil management activities that increase the amount of soil organic matter in the soil profile; water management activities that will provide optimum efficiency for irrigation water application; and wildlife habitat management practices that utilize crop residues for winter cover.
Future enhancements include recycling of on-farm lubricants, nutrient application based on 40 acre or less grid sampling, and implementing pesticide selection to minimize pesticide loss.
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