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Agricultural News

ITC Great Plains Invests in Oklahoma Healthy Soils Project

Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:58:22 CDT

ITC Great Plains Invests in Oklahoma Healthy Soils Project
ITC Great Plains, a transmission-only utility operating in the Southwest Power Pool region and a subsidiary of ITC Holdings, Corp., the nation's largest independent electricity transmission company, is joining forces with the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) by investing in the Oklahoma Healthy Soils Project.

"ITC is pleased to support OACD's Healthy Soils Project as both of our organizations are committed to the long-term sustainability of our natural resources," Brett Leopold, ITC Great Plains president stated, "Upgrading our nation's outdated power grid is critical to keeping the United States economically competitive and provides the infrastructure to develop renewable energy."

ITC Great Plains currently operates 436 circuit miles of transmission lines in Oklahoma and Kansas. The company is currently in the process of constructing new transmission lines throughout the southern plains to reduce system congestion, provide more efficient and cost-effective transmission of energy and increase access to a broader range of generation resources.

"Investments in transmission lines is a huge benefit to all Oklahomans," said OACD President Steve House. "These investments will yield dividends for generations to come as cleaner grid is something that benefits the environment and provides huge opportunities for rural economic development. We are excited to partner with ITC to promote conservation of our state's natural resources through the Oklahoma Healthy Soils Project"

The Oklahoma Healthy Soils Project is designed to encourage agriculture producers to implement agronomic practices that naturally benefit the biology of the soil. Throughout the next five years, the project will establish 10 demonstration farms across the state that will plant cover crops during the fallow period and implement no-till cropping systems. Economic analysis will be conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of cover crops in Oklahoma.

"Our soils have been tilled for a hundred years and are lacking in organic matter and natural nutrients and cover crops are one way we can simultaneously sequester carbon and foster the microbial community of the soil," said House. "If we are going to be able to clothe and feed a growing population, we need to make production agriculture as resilient as possible, which is why we are grateful for ITC's support of the Healthy Soils Project."

The OACD Healthy Soils Project is partially funded through a five-year grant awarded in 2015 by the United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information, visit www.okconservation.org/healthy-soils. The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts is a nonprofit organization representing Oklahoma's 86 conservation districts to provide leadership, resources and partnership opportunities for those who manage the land to enhance our natural resources for a better Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.okconservation.org.



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