Crop Rotation Generates Profits Without Pollution


Karen Stillerman

Are fertilizers and extensive herbicides actually the most productive means for farming? For many, this sounds like more a rhetorical question. After all, debates in recent years have been more about whether the yields of such approaches are actually sufficient reasons to allow the negative side effects on the soil, water, and other parts of local habitat. The seemingly antiquated approaches of crop rotation and animal grazing were typically seen as conscientious postures held by a small subset of society and was one deemed to be largely untenable for generating the food yields needed for existing population demands.

Therefore, it comes as a surprise that a recent report produced by the USDA, the University of Minnesota, and Iowa State University showed such a theory is ungrounded. In this article, Stillerman summarizes some of the key findings of this report and, in doing so, highlights the need for further government and educational research to continue as a complementary component to corporate-based research. Hopefully those reading this article will find it encouraging that there still remain the possibility for “win-win” situations as it pertains to environmental care and food productivity.

What barriers do you think still exist that would prevent farmers from adopting a type of crop rotation similar to those mentioned in this article?

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

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