No-till farming demonstrates good stewardship
We often hear that farmers are not good stewards of the environment, but that is just not true. Any one who makes their living off the soil and environment, as farmers do, has to be a good steward of that environment if they are to be successful.
One shining example of being good stewards is no-till farming, a practice that has been around a couple of decades but one that is growing in acceptance.
No-till farm is growing crops with minimal turning of the soil. For example, a silage grower might harvest the first crop of the growing season and instead of plowing under the entire field again for the second crop, they only till a path a few inches wide and plant the second crop in that narrow tilled area. The rest of the field is untouched.
Obviously, the practice cuts down on air pollution, both in terms of dust the discing would cause and diesel pollution from the tractor making several more passes over the field. It is also a huge fuel cost savings for the grower.
Recent studies have also shown that no-till farming reduces soil water evaporation, which means less pumping of water from the underground.
Between 2008 and 2010, Central Valley farmers switched to no-till farming on an addition 344,000 acres, reported University of California scientists. An article in California Agriculture states that since 2004 farmers have saved more than $75 million using no-till farming practices.
No-till farming is one of numerous practices done by farmers that save water and air pollution. Irrigation is down to a science and farmers use not a drop more than necessary whenever possible.
So, the next time someone says farmers cause pollution, remember how they are using every means possible to reduce their carbon footprint and to be good stewards of the land that feeds us all.
Editorials in The Porterville Recorder are the opinion of the editorial board which consists of Publisher Paula Patton and Editor Rick Elkins. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Recorder.