Oklahoma water center aims to conserve water through cover crops

  • 12.08.2022
  • Oklahoma State University

The Oklahoma Water Resources Center at Oklahoma State University is teaming up with Texas A&M University for a $1.7 million project to study the benefits of regenerative agriculture in Oklahoma and Texas.

“The water center’s involvement was sparked from discussions on how implementing soil health practices would help achieve Oklahoma’s Water for 2060 goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than was consumed in 2010,” said Kevin Wagner, OWRC director. “There is evidence that practices to improve soil health will also help reach this goal, but there is a need for more research in the Southern Plains.”

Project partners are conducting field research evaluating how the use of cover crops, no till farming and grazing of cover crops effect soil health, soil carbon, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gases emissions, and water quality and quantity. The field research findings will then be used to develop river basin scale models to evaluate the effects of regenerative agricultural practices at a regional scale. Output from these models will be integrated with economic models to show the potential economic impacts on individual producers and surrounding communities.