Every day is Earth Day on the farm

Earth day comes but once a year giving folks a time to appreciate the world we live in by planting a tree, starting a recycling project, picking up trash or finding ways to become more energy efficient. But to our nations’ farmers, everyday is Earth Day.

South Dakota farmers and ranchers, the True Environmentalists, take steps nearly every day to improve their land, protect the water, air and care for their livestock and local wildlife.

Each year, farmers are continuing to become more efficient through new practices and technologies. No-till planting, precision agriculture and seed biotechnology are just a few of things that farmers are using to care for their soil, prevent erosion, reduce run off, nutrient application and overall energy.

“The clearest measure of sustainability is the ability to increase efficiency, while decreasing environmental impacts,” said Lisa Richardson, SDCUC Executive Director.

Using less and growing more is exactly what farmers have been doing over last few decades.

During the past 20 years corn farmers have…

  • Reduced the amount of land needed per bushel by 37%
  • Reduced the amount of soil loss per bushel by 69%
  • Reduced the amount of energy needed per bushel by 37%
  • Reduced emissions per bushel by 30%

(Source: Field to Market Report)

Not only do farmers care for the land in a sustainable way, but they are both feeding and fueling a growing population.

“Our ability to feed and fuel a world population that will double in the next 20 to 40 years is in the hands of dedicated farmers and ranchers, the True Environmentalists who are willing to adapt their operations to not only increase their productivity but enhance the natural resources around them,” said Richardson.