Top USDA official lauds conservation ethic of Delta growers

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It had been raining most of the morning, but the downpour stopped just long enough for Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Hardin to get some “boots on the ground” experience – literally –in the Mississippi Delta Thursday (May 29).

The deputy secretary was visiting Mississippi to deliver the keynote speech at today’s annual meeting of the Delta Council in Cleveland, Miss. Following her visit to a field in Tunica County, she talked with Farm Press content director Forrest Laws.

The deputy secretary visited the farm of Patrick and Emily Johnson near Banks, Miss. Johnson described how he and his partners built a reservoir that is part of a tailwater recovery system that supplies most of the irrigation water for the farm's rice crop.

Later, Harden and a group of Delta Council and federal, state and local government officials stopped at a field near the mainline Mississippi River Levee in western Tunica County. The deputy secretary got a briefing from Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with Mississippi State University, about new tools farmers can use to reduce the amount of irrigation water - and the expense - during dry conditions on their farms.

Harden donned rubber boots so that she and Krutz could get a close look at the flexible irrigation tubing laid out to irrigate the field.

 

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