Clay Pope Says Profits Can Increase While Practicing Conservation and ManagementTue, 02 Aug 2022 15:12:48 CDT
Associate Farm Editor, Reagan Calk, got the chance to visit with the author of the Southern Plains Perspective blog and podcast host, Clay Pope. Pope talks about the valuable resources the Southern Plains Perspective blog and podcast have to offer for producers to help them with the conservation and management of their operations, while also improving their bottom lines.
“I have been involved in conservation and natural resource work for a long time and starting in 2014, I started working with the USDA’s Southern Plains Climate Hub,” Pope said. “I work under an agreement with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) in support of the hub there that is at the agricultural resource facility at Fort Reno.”
The podcast and the blog, Pope said, are a way of outreach for some of the issues and challenges on the natural resource side relating to the changing climate. The Southern Plains Perspective, he added, is a tool to access information on material developed on the research side of ARS (Agricultural Research Service) and tools on the NRCS side.
“Some of the things that are out there, producers can look at not just from the federal government but also from the private sector to help them deal with extreme weather like droughts and floods, challenges we have seen from wildfire,” Pope said.
A goal of the Southern Plains Perspective, Pope said, is to help create strategies to aid producers in facing the changing climate while helping their bottom lines at the same time.
Implementing good management practices and taking care of our natural resources, Pope said, can also be done while lowering input costs and improving efficiency. A great part of his job, Pope added, is having the ability to provide an avenue for farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma to access valuable information and tools they can use in to operate.
In Pope’s past two blog posts, he wrote about the devastating drought conditions our producers have been faced with.
“I think it is the driest period that we saw from the end of June to the end of July in the history of record keeping in the state of Oklahoma, and now the temperatures that we are seeing not just in Oklahoma, but in Texas, and also in Kansas for that matter, really do kind of mirror up with what we saw in that drought period in 2011 and 2015,” Pope said. “That is probably the biggest thing that gives me pause is that we are kind of running through a cycle similar to what we saw from ’11 to ’15 and that, for so much of this area, is the drought of record now- worse than what we saw in the 50s and worse than what we saw in the dust bowl. The concern is that with this triple dip La Nina, we may be moving in that direction again.”
Leading up to the drought, Pope said it was a top priority to make producers think about their drought plans and encourage them to think about some options such as reducing the impacts of the dry weather on their soils so that when it does rain, the soil can hold onto as much moisture as possible.
“Hopefully we give them a little bit of food for thought, and then producers can use those tools to maybe get a little bit ahead of the curve,” Pope said.
Pope said his next blog post will feature material from his daughter’s winning speech at the 4-H Roundup Natural Resource Speech contest in Stillwater this past week. Her speech was about climate-smart agriculture and how it can help producers improve their bottom lines while also helping them deal with challenges such as weather conditions and more.
To see all blog posts and podcasts at the Southern Plains Perspective, click here.
Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear Reagan Calk and Clay Pope talk on valuable resources and information available for agricultural producers at the Southern Plains Perspective.
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