Commentary: Union of scientists hate conventional ag

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

“U.S. agriculture is at a crossroads: continue the polluting, soil-depleting industrialized farming methods of the past, or invest in modern practices of the future,” so says the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

And what are those “modern practices?” The UCS explains that the four key healthy farm practices that would “modernize agriculture” to meet today’s challenges are:
•    “Operating farms as part of the natural landscape, preserving uncultivated areas that can harbor beneficial wildlife, actually reduce farmers’ costs and reduce water pollution;
•    “Growing and rotating a wider variety of crops, which can increase yields while reducing the need for chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers;
•    “Reintegrating livestock and crops, reducing the problem of manure waste and enhancing soil fertility; and
•    “Growing cover crops to prevent erosion, reduce weeds, capture and hold nutrients in the soil, and protect farmers against drought.”

Those four points sound like reverting back to agriculture of the 1950s rather than farming of the 21st century. Of the four, the cover crops concept is one that has the most utility and potential for high-volume agricultural production practices.

If family farms were to follow these practices, then a large percentage of the world’s population would starve. Claiming food is grown by “industrialized farming” is the biggest lie that these activist “scientists” use to claim farmers are the henchmen of agribusiness corporations. Family-owned farms grow U.S. crops.

To those 95 percent of farmers who grow crops the “conventional way,” with modern scientific inputs, the ranting of the UCS has to be like fingernails scrapping on a chalk board.

The claim that today’s modern farming is killing the earth, plays well with consumers because it is coming from a group with a name that inspires trust—the Union of Concerned Scientists. The promoted assumption is that these people should be trusted because this union of scientists broke away from being bought and paid to lie about scientific discoveries harming the world.

I totally disagree with almost all of what the co-authors of the UCS’s latest policy brief say. I’d never agree that the brief is a credible scientific look at what agriculture should be in the future or the damage that it is doing to the U.S. environment.

“Industrial agriculture sounded good in the 1950s, but it’s not serving us well in the twenty-first century,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist with UCS’s Food and Environment Program and co-author of the policy brief. “To meet the environmental, resource, and production challenges of the future, scientists, policy makers and farmers must work together to invest in a more sustainable kind of agriculture.”

The Healthy Farm: A Vision for U.S. Agriculture,” is the full policy brief.

“The benefits of healthy farms make them a no-brainer,” said Margaret Mellon, senior scientist with UCS’s Food and Environment Program and another co-author. “Backed by science, these practices are productive and profitable, and ultimately benefit farmers, consumers, rural economies, and the environment. It’s a win-win.”

The UCS announced the policy brief comes as “Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduces the Balancing Food, Farm, and Environment Act, legislation to consolidate and fund conservation programs in the farm bill. And with debate on the farm bill expected this month, UCS is calling on the House and Senate agriculture committees to prioritize research and incentives to support healthy farm practices.”

Too bad the healthy farm practices of UCS are completely off base compared to reality and the needs of the average family farmer to stay in business without huge government subsidies.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Grain Storage Systems

Behlen Grain Storage Systems offers large capacity bins with diameters from 16’ to 157’ and capacities exceeding 1,500,000 bushels. All ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form