Published on: 08:43AM Apr 22, 2011
Today each year thousands of people across the country do things they believe will help sustain the environment. People ride bikes instead of driving vehicles, they use recycled goods and don’t run their air conditioners. All of their single day efforts are valuable but I would venture to say that they don’t compare to the acts of environmental conservation that farmers use every day. Farmers were the original stewards of the land. Over the past 50 years they have more than doubled food production with half of the land and still do it sustainably. No til farming is a great example of a sustainable farming practice.
Yesterday I visited farmers in Southwest Oklahoma and had the chance to see no till wheat production. The farm is so close to the Red River that no till is essential on their farm because it keeps the sandy soil from blowing away. Even though they are so close to the river, they don’t struggle with water erosion, they struggle with wind erosion. Dry land no til farming is becoming more popular in their area as other farmers realize the benefits of having the excess stubble to insulate and protect young crops.
There are many other practices farmers implement that are sustainable. A farmer once told me that he thought the discussion about farming ruining the environment was silly because "I love my land and she won’t produce if I don’t take care of her." The passion for farming runs deep and the land is more than just dirt to walk on. For many farmers the land is a link to the past, their heritage.
On this Earth Day, while you tie your coke bottle shoe laces, remember farmers, they’re working hard to feed the world and doing the task while improving the environment.