Wildlife

Conservation enriches the land, water, and wildlife.

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Improving soil health, integral for improving water conditions

Milford Lake State Wildlife Area Tenant Farmer planted cover crops and baled the cover crops for livestock feed. Removing the bales of cover crops off-site is beneficial because it is removing nutrients away from Milford Lake.

In an effort to combat Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), the Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) program has partnered with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) to promote innovative farming practices on Milford Wildlife Area. Through this joint effort, Milford Lake WRAPS and KDWPT aim to reduce nutrient runoff from entering Milford Lake and causing HABs.

The Milford Lake WRAPS program is offering financial assistance to tenant farmers of the wildlife area to promote soil health through the use of soil testing and incorporating cover crops into the crop rotations.

“This is a perfect partnership,” said Adam Bauer, Milford Lake WRAPS coordinator. “The farmed areas of Milford Wildlife Area contribute nutrients to the lake just as the rest of the farmed acres in the Milford Lake Watershed.”

Improving soil health has become an integral practice for improving water infiltration and preventing nutrient runoff. Farming practices that support this effort include reducing soil disturbance, covering bare soil, keeping living plant roots in the ground, promoting biodiversity and utilizing technology to most efficiently manage applied nutrients.

Excess nutrients in surface water not only worsen water quality, but also have damaging effects to local economics, recreation and the health of communities. Working with tenant farmers of the wildlife area will allow land adjacent to the reservoir to help reduce nutrients while also setting a positive example to the remaining area on improved land management techniques.

For more information, visit: www.milfordwatershed.org, www.kswraps.org