Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Science sides with agriculture as global population booms

Some people seem to think that farmers need to learn and adopt Best Management Practices (BMPs). This observation seems to miss the fact that BMPs have been routinely practiced in commercial farming for years. Consider the following: A full 90 percent of large commercial California growers are using sophisticated GPS systems to apply pesticides and fertilizers to their crops, thereby cutting down on product waste and off-target spraying, according to Big W Sales representatives in Stockton, who sell modern precision agriculture equipment; farmers are also investing in new automatic section controls and other modern farming equipment as they come online to reduce product waste, save money and protect the environment. Additionally, BMPs currently practiced by growers focus on the management of inputs to provide economic, environmental and agronomic efficiency in production agriculture. Examples of BMPs include practices for the management of pests, nutrients and waste; vegetative and tillage practices, such as contour farming, cropping and rotational field sequences and windbreaks; and structural practices, such as terraces, grade stabilization and sediment control basins. There is also a lot of discussion about how farmers should be moved to more organic systems by eliminating inorganic fertilizers and crop protection tools. I would note that central to the science of agronomy is the topic of increasing crop yields and growing healthy plants that provide high nutritional value...more

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