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Farmers Care About Conservation

May 7, 2015

Everything on Earth depends on our natural resources for survival. Air, water, soil, plants, and animals are essential to the survival and productivity of the earth. As unlimited as these resources seem, without conservation we will destroy them. Farmers have always been stewards for the environment because they rely on our natural resources to make a living. Conservation is key and the majority of farmers are already using conservation practices on their operations. Farmers need natural resources to be productive and make a living. Clean air and pollution free fresh water is essential for livestock and crops to grow and survive. Farmers use conservation practices like buffer stripes and no-till to reduce nutrients and sediments from getting into surface and ground water. Farmers also use practices like no-till and windbreaks to diminish wind erosion and odor. The basis of our food, fiber, and raw material production is the soil. Healthy productive soils are essential to farmers. There are many different conservation practices used to promote healthy productive soils. Soil erosion is reduced using conservation tillage, no-tillage, contour farming, cover crops, and many other practices. Soil health is measured by the amount of organic matter and soil biology present. Farmers increase soil health by using conservation tillage, cover crops, manure, residue management, and diversity. These practices are used by all farmers to varying degrees. A lot of fruits and vegetables require pollination to produce a crop. Farmers that rely on natural pollinators will plant alternative plants to create pollinator habitat. These alternative plants are not harvested and usually planted along field edges and areas of limited production. By using conservation practices farmers not only help protect the environment, they also save money. Conservation tillage and no-tillage reduces the number of trips a tractor takes across the farm. This reduction in trips decreases the amount of fuel used on the farm and cuts back on fuel costs and emissions. Fields utilizing no-tillage and cover crops will retain water better than plowed and uncovered fields. The no-tillage and cover cropped fields will yield higher than other fields during droughty years. By utilizing various conservation practices farmers are able to protect our natural resources and save money at the same time. Your local Conservation District and NRCS Office work directly with farmers to include conservation practices on their farms.

“We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children.”
– Native American Proverb

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