Farmers, True Stewards of the Land
Conservation tillage, a way of farming that reduces erosion (soil loss) on cropland while using less energy, has grown from 17 percent of acreage in 1982 to 63 pecent today. At the same time, total land used for crops declined by 15 pecent (70 million acres). Farmers have enrolled a total of 31 million acres in the Conservation Reserve program to protect the envrionment and provide habitat for wildlife. Since its inception in 1985, the program has helped reduce soil erosion by 622 million tons and restored more than 2 million acres of wetlands. Farmers, ranchers and other landowners have installed more than 2 million miles of conservation buffers under farm bill initiatives. Buffers provide soil, air and water quality; enhance wildlife habitat; and create scenic landscapes.
Did you know? Each year, hundreds of thousands of trees are planted on farmland. More than half of America’s farmers intentionally provide habitat for wildlie. Deer, moose, fowl and otehr species have shown significant population increases for decades.
Also, careful stewardship by America’s food producers spurred a nearly 50 percent decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982. Through the farm bill, funding is provided to armers and ranchers for conservation, for programs that prevent soil erosion, preserve and restore wetlands, clean the air and water, and enhance wildlife. Crop rotation, the practice of growing different crops in scuccession on the same land is another way farmers take care of the land. For contour farming, farmers plant crops across the slope of the land to conserve water and protect soil.
Did you know? Sand, silt, and clay are basic mineral particles that make up soil, which also contains organic matter, water, microorganisms and (sometimes) worms. Farmers often test soil before planting to determine composition, pH and balance of nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Results are used to determine the proper type and amount of fertilizer to apply.
All in all, farmers are pretty awesome for providing us with safe, wholesome food and protecting our land and natural resources. If we can help you with your farming needs, give us a call at 888.339.3334 or visit us a mafc.com.
Source: American Farm Bureau’s “Food and Farm Facts”