Skip Navigation

New Mexico Integrated Water Management Handbook

Photo Diagram of Integrated Cropping SystemA sustainable cropping system is an integral part of a complete farming system of soil, water, air, plant, animal, and human resources.  The New Mexico Integrated Cropping Systems and Water Management Handbook, is intended to be user friendly for use by planners with producers.  NRCS provided training for planners, partners and producers on “how-to” evaluate and understand site-specific field conditions, including chemical, biological and physical. This enables us to evaluate and implement best management practices/approaches for cropland management within an integrated farming system. Considering how the farm fits into broader watershed management (e.g. off-site effects and resource opportunities) is also essential to problem-posing and problem-solving resource management success and development of sustainable communities. 

The Handbook provides guidance on understanding and improving soil quality, water quantity/quality, air quality, nutrient and salinity management, crop yield and quality, irrigation water management, integrated pest management. 

It also provides guidance on reducing overall on-farm energy use, inputs, production costs, pest incidences, pumping costs, as well as soil and water losses.  The end result targets becoming a more economical, sustainable farming enterprise, including resource efficient and resource conserving.

The key approach to achieving integrated sustainable management is to think system (ecosystem, whole farm, and watershed), think critically (connect the dots), actively seek resource opportunities, emphasize technology “exchange” vs. “transfer” with other producers and partners, plan creatively and flexibly, and focus on keeping energy flow through the integrated system. A reemphasis on biological factors is also necessary since recent agriculture has essentially forgotten biological, but rather focused on chemical and physical factors.  Improving soil quality is key to improving soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources. Case studies, field trials, demonstrations are all important approaches for technology exchange.  Interdisciplinary teams including producers and partners are essential in developing integrated sustainable farming systems.


Integrated Cropping Systems and Water Management Handbook (AGRO-76)

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint.

The Handbook sections below are provided in their original format so that planners and students can make additional print copies and customize the handbook to their individual situation as needed. Adobe PDF file formats as well as html formats are also available for most document. 


Section 1:  Comprehensive Cropping System Guide

Section 2:  Producer Resources Inventor

Section 3:  Precipitation


Section 4:  Mean High and Low Temperature

Section 5: Crop Rotations and Cover Crops

Section 6: Crop Evapotranspiration - ETC

Section 7: Soil Moisture Monitoring

Section 8:  Irrigation Scheduling

8a - Planning For Irrigation Water Management (PDF; 24 KB)

Section 9:  Nutrient Inputs

Section 10:  Surface Residue Management

Section 11:  Tillage Operations

Section 12:  Soil Temperature Measurements

Section 13:  Soil Nitrate Tests

Section 14:  IPM - Insects, Disease, Weeds

Section 15:  Field Problems - Use Soil Quality Test Kit

Advanced Soil Quality Test Kit

Section 16:  Standard Soil Test

Section 17:  Active Carbon Test

Section 18:  Soil Health Assessment - Soil Food Web

Section 19:  Pasture and Range Managment

Section 20:  Guidance on Developing Case Studies and Examples

Section 21:  Irrigation Systems

Section 22:  Energy, Air Quality, Other

Other NRCS WM NRCS Technical Information

IWM Fact Sheets