The land is the lifeblood of any farm. So a family farmer’s number one priority and responsibility is to keep that land healthy and productive by continuing to adapt sustainable practices, applying conservation efforts and utilizing new technologies.
More and more farmers are adopting no and minimal till farming practices which are benefiting the soil by reducing runoff and erosion while conserving moisture. No-till means leaving the ground alone while only removing the grain portion from the field and leaving behind the remaining organic matter to break down naturally adding nutrients to the soil.
Other practices farmers are using include conservation. The installation of grass waterways, buffer strips and the planting of shelterbelts protect the soil from runoff, erosion and wind.
Today, farmers not only use GPS technology for precision steering which saves the soil from additional compaction, but they are also using it for precise nutrient application. Utilizing these new technologies allows for farmers to apply the necessary amount of inputs as soil mapping technologies show farmers exactly how much they need and where it needs to go.
“I’m taking care of the land to ensure that future generations will continue to be productive so they too can to meet the demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber,” said Keith Alverson, Chester area farmer and director of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. “Leaving the land in better condition than when they received it is a goal for every farmer.”
Farmers continued dedication to adapt and change their operations in a sustainable and productive matter is just another reason that our farmers and ranchers are the True Environmentalists.