Commentary: The originators of Earth Day

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

Around the world people are celebrating Earth Day. It's a great tradition, one that is needed for the health of our planet and future generations. It is a reminder to protect the resources we are given. It is something I'm reminded of on a daily basis. 

As a child, I spent most of my time with my father and grandfather who were both farmers. I knew what I wanted to do. Today I'm proud to say we've been farming the same land for four generations. In order to sustain the soil, we treat it like a bank account. You have to replenish your checking account, just like you have to manage the resources in the soil. Carelessly spending all the nutrients and top soil makes for a steep decline in productivity and profitability.

Much like any other business, technology has made us more efficient and precise. Rather than treat every field the same, soil testing, soil mapping and GPS allow farmers to provide each plot of soil with precisely what it needs to be healthy and fertile. Thanks to innovative practices, we're producing 87 percent more corn using 4 percent fewer nutrients. We've also reduced soil erosion by 67 percent compared to when my father farmed 30 years ago.

My ancestors would be amazed by today's technology. Between 1980 and 2009, America's farmers doubled corn production utilizing only 3 percent more land. We've reduced the amount of acres required to grow one bushel of corn by 30 percent, meaning we can produce a lot more with less.

Those familiar with farming also know the importance of conservation. Thousands of farmers continue to enroll acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or Wetland Reserve Program to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In 2012 the Wetlands Reserve Program hit a record high 2.65 million acres and is expected to grow. CRP rates are also trending above 90 percent of the federally capped level.

Each and every one of these practices is helping farmers like me conserve resources and maintain the integrity of our land. In recent years we've gone a step further. With the ability to produce larger crops on our land, farmers can now provide not only food and feed, but also a cleaner, greener fuel straight from America's fields.

Last year alone, 13.3 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 38 million metric tons. That's equivalent to removing eight million cars from the road. Eight million-no fracking, tar sands or derricks required. The best part? It doesn't cause an ecological and economic disaster if spilled.

As we celebrate this Earth Day, I salute those who have gone before us to provide the advancements and innovations that allow today's farmers to be better stewards of the land. We farm not only to make a living, but to further protect our land and legacy for generations to come.


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


Declining Weigh Blending System

Ranco Declining Weigh (DW) is the standard in fertilizer blending because of the speed and accuracy of the blending process. ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form