MYTH: High yield farming harms the environment.
FACT: A June 2010 study from Stanford University says that advances in high-yield agriculture have prevented massive amounts of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere- the equivalent of 590 billion metric tons of CO2. If not for increased yields, additional GHG emisssions from clearing land for farming would have been equal to up to a third of the world's total output of GHG since 1850.
MYTH: Corporate farms have taken over the family farm.
FACT: Farms today look different than they used to, but only the structure has changed. Families still remain the core of the new business structure. A corporate farm is not about size. It’s about farmers setting up their business for tax and estate planning purposes. Indiana farms that have been operating for generations, regardless of size, can be corporations.
MYTH: Farming is not a sustainable practice.
FACT: Especially with biotechnology, new hybrid corn seeds mean a reduction in insecticide and herbicide use. Increased corn yields mean more efficiency when it comes to how much nitrogen, phosphate and potassium are used per bushel of corn grown. Modern tillage prctices, including no-till farms, are becoming more prevalent and have greatly decreased soil erosion.
MYTH: Farming in the United States is controlled by large corporations that care about profits and not about animal welfare.
FACT: Of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, 87 percent are owned by an individual or a married couple responsible for operating the farm. If partnerships – typically a parent and one or more children or other close relatives – are added to this total, 97 percent of U.S. farms are family-owned and operated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Even those farms that are legally corporations are generally family controlled, with USDA reporting only 7,000 non-family-controlled corporate farms in the United States.
MYTH: Large farms are putting small farms out of business.
FACT: Like any business in the U.S., farms are getting larger because of economies of scale. By creating and sustaining a positive environment for farmers at all levels, we can improve the economy for all rural communities.
MYTH: Large farms are bad for the community.
FACT: Agriculture is the economic engine that drives many local economies in our country. For many areas developing the agriculture indistry is the best way to increase economic activity and tax revenue.
MYTH: Today’s farmers don’t care about the environment.
FACT: Modern technology used by today’s farmers better protects the environment than the methods used by their forefathers. It’s important to understand that clean air, land, and water are crucial to the long-term success of the state’s livestock industry. Both from a business and an ethical standpoint, livestock producers have every motivation to conserve and protect the natural resources they rely upon.
MYTH: When farmers spread manure on the fields for fertilizer, it goes into our water supply.
FACT: With the use of modern technology and soil science, farmers can apply manure to the land as an organic fertilizer, thus the manure nutrients are absorbed by the soil and not the water. In addition, state and federal regulations mandate that livestock producers only apply manure at a rate that can be utilized by the growing crops. Farmers must have approved manure management application plans before applying manure to the soil.
Sources: Soybean Checkoff, National Corn Growers Association