Farmers Urged to Support Sustainable Farming

Farmers Urged to Support Sustainable Farming

by The Daily Eye Team August 9 2014, 8:22 am Estimated Reading Time: 1 min, 20 secs

Farmers at the Resilient Agriculture Conference Wednesday at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, were urged to take steps to increase the sustainability and resilience of their operations as a hedge against the increasing risks of variable and unpredictable weather. “It’s difficult to talk about climate change because it’s become so political, and that’s a shame,” said Fred Yoder, a corn and soybean farmer from Plain City, Ohio, and former National Corn Growers Association president. “We get hung up on whether it’s man-made or natural. It’s time to stop talking about assigning blame, and find ways to adapt to feed 9 billion people by 2015 in a sustainable way that will not hurt the environment.”

The three-day Conference is co-hosted by the USDA’s Sustainable Corn Project and the 25x’25 Alliance. The Project includes scientists at 10 Midwest land-grant universities and the USDA Agricultural Research Service at Columbus, Ohio. It gathers data from 35 field sites and thousands of farmers in nine Midwestern states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, and South Dakota. “There are increasing signs that cropping systems of corn-corn or corn-soybean rotations don’t have a light environmental footprint,” said Lois Wright Morton, the project’s director and a social scientist at Iowa State University. “Hypoxic conditions in the Gulf of Mexico point to nitrogen, phosphorous, and soil losses from our fields and farms. Soil erosion from single high-precipitation events is taking away valuable soil needed to grow future crops.”

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