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Trump takes the gloves off versus Kavanaugh accusers. Also on the Wednesday rundown: rural areas reap benefits from Medicaid expansion; a two-generation approach to helping young Louisiana parents; and a new documentary on the impact of climate change in North Carolina.

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Satellite Images Could Help Nevada Farmers

USDA and NASA working towards a better understanding of soil moisture levels. Credit: U.S. Global Change Research Program
USDA and NASA working towards a better understanding of soil moisture levels. Credit: U.S. Global Change Research Program
July 23, 2015

MOAPA VALLEY, Nev. – A partnership involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA could benefit farmers in Nevada and elsewhere as the nation adjusts to the impact of climate change.

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden says the agreement will expand cooperation on space-borne remote sensing efforts to gather soil moisture data to develop maps that can help farmers in the drought-ravaged Southwest.

"We know that the climate is changing and we have to adapt, we have to mitigate,” she states. “We want to give our producers all those tools to make sure they know as well in advance who is going to be impacted and when, so we can farm and ranch differently if we need to in certain parts of the country."

Harden adds that the NASA satellite images also will help Forest Service firefighters and first responders better detect wildfires and predict their behavior.
Jim Hardy, a hay farmer in the Moapa Valley northeast of Las Vegas, says knowing moisture levels could prove enormously helpful to farmers who continue to produce the nation's food supply through an historic drought.

"So, if we had that accurate information, we would know where we need to put the water, and make more beneficial use out of the water,” he points out. “We could make the water go farther, conserve water, be able to utilize and farm more ground, possibly."

According to the federal government's National Climate Assessment, as temperatures continue to rise, droughts in the Southwest will be longer, prompting even dryer conditions.


Mike Clifford/Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV