It wasn't that long ago that we had many more farmers that diversified their crops. They understood the need to care for the land. It wasn't about "Bigger, Better, More...More...More" A mono-crop culture is not sustainable. SWMN is a desert of black dirt that blows around and nothing grows without chemicals. There is a huge difference between soil (living) and dirt (dead). All of the chemical applications that are ...more »
Large scale water appropriations from irrigators both pump and deplete our aqifers and create focused groundwater recharge changing the water quality in the area. Quarterly groundwater monitoring for nitrates, cblorides and pestiides should be reported and thresholds should be established as permit conditions for water appropriatiins. Changing, or impaired water quality attributated to irrigation could be detected before ...more »
We need to realize that dealing with water quantity impacts on our surface water in new and innovative ways on our agricultural landscape is one way we can reduce peak flows. The future use of tile to transport water off farm fields needs to be done differently than in the past and it can be done. Managed drainage is a reality and has been proven to work well on certain landscapes. During drought it can even maintain ...more »
If buffer-strip crops of native plants for cellulose ethanol and other bio-fuels were harvested with the same subsidy rate that corn ethanol receives in total, it would surely be popular. No-till, no fertilizer, no pesticides, no irrigation, no planting after the first time. How could streams, farmers, and the rest do better?