It's Not Easy Being Green

News EditorBiotech, Dairy Business

Farmers are the original stewarts of our great land. In these changing times in agriculture, some farmers are stepping up and using so called “green” farming methods.

Hybrids vehicles aren’t replacing one-ton pickups in mid-America, but many in the agriculture industry are reacting to the potential effects of global warming, developing new technology and farming methods to brace for the possibility of widespread drought and crop-pounding storms. The industry has been especially aggressive in breeding and developing crops that more efficiently use soil moisture and nutrients. Such crops can ward off disease and pests that stress plants trying to cope with increased temperatures.

Others in the industry are using improved soil management methods to reduce greenhouse gases. That includes no-till farming, where farmers plant crops without using machines to plow or turn over the soil. That method cuts down on energy use and traps organic material that breaks down to fertilize the soil. The method also keeps carbon in the ground instead of releasing it to build up in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. In addition to aiding the environment, such energy conservation also helps farmers’ bottom line.