Natural Resources Conservation Service
6200 Jefferson NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Contact: Barbara Garrett, public affairs specialist
January 3, 2005
Early Research May Aid Ogallala, Dairies
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
and New Mexico State University (NMSU) Agricultural Science Center at Clovis are excited and
encouraged by early results of research into how to conserve water and meet the growing dairy
forage market at the same time. Their two-pronged effort is on the cutting edge of meeting
farmers’ needs in eastern New Mexico.
Mike Sporcic, NRCS agronomist, is working with Sangu Angadi, NMSU Assistant
Profession at the Clovis Agricultural Science Center to explore cropping systems that will both
conserve water and yield high protein forage. What they have learned so far is that it is possible
to get high protein sorghums through breeding so dairies can reduce protein and feed
supplements to produce high quality milk.
Sporcic is now proposing to integrate minimum or no tillage systems into the growing of
“We think we can reduce water consumption by half, while producing at least two-thirds
of the tonnage as before,” said Sporcic. “Our goal is to reduce water consumption by more than
the reduction in tonnage.”
The Agricultural Science Center at Clovis reports that the current yield research shows
good yields using sorghums and reduced tillage, but more than one year’s of study is needed to
determine the viability of the early results.
Meanwhile NRCS is open to farmers that would like to demonstrate the new system to
further explore opportunities for eastern New Mexico.
“There is potential to help our growers who are running out of water,” said Sporcic. “The
minimum or no tillage part of the equation can also help a farmer meet our soil qua