Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

Op-Ed: Collaboration Can Save the Mississippi River Watershed

Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:53:57 CDT

Op-Ed: Collaboration Can Save the Mississippi River Watershed Op-Ed Written By: Suzy Friedman, director of agricultural sustainability for the Environmental Defense Fund, and Max Starbuck, director of market development for the National Corn Growers Association.

A diverse group of more than 400 businesses, associations, government agencies, science organizations, academic institutions and non-profit organizations released the first-ever report card evaluating the condition of one of our nation's most storied and central waterways. This effort, known as America's Watershed Initiative, was undertaken to provide information on the challenges facing the waters and lands that make up the 31-state Mississippi River Watershed and the 250 rivers that flow into it.

Click here for more information on the report card.

The overall mark was less than stellar, a D+. However, the process of grading has yielded a pathway to improvement.

Why the poor rating? The watershed continues to experience increased pressure from the demands of urbanization, agriculture, transportation and land development.

Fortunately, moving from a "D+" to an "A" grade is achievable - with new levels of understanding and collaboration. That's why the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Corn Growers Association have a real desire to work together on this and similar initiatives.

Although our perspectives may differ, we share a commitment to the economic and environmental resilience and sustainability of U.S. corn production - we both want to optimize the use of nitrogen fertilizer, increase soil health to increase food production, and enhance the environment in the future - and we can accomplish more together than on our own.

We rely on farmers

Because of the productivity and innovation of U.S. farmers, we have an abundant and affordable food supply. However, as the population grows, so does the burden on farmers to produce more on the same amount of land, while improving ecosystem health and water quality.

Increased pressures from development and the introduction of new regulations amid corn price fluctuations can place additional challenges on growers striving to maintain healthy soils, protect water resources and preserve wildlife habitat.

We believe sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand

In a recent survey, Midwestern farmers ranked "land stewardship" as their top value. This isn't surprising, since sustainability is in growers' best interests. Improving soil health, increasing fertilizer use efficiency and reducing erosion potential will deliver significant benefits to water quality and produce the potential for greater yields.

The efficient use of fertilizer and maintaining good soil health save money. Keeping soil and nutrients on fields rather than in waterways, is the goal of both farmers and conservationists. Additionally, when farmers are profitable they can invest in technologies and tools that enable data collection and identify further efficiencies in their operations.

We recognize unprecedented demand

The pursuit of sustainable food production is reaching beyond the purview of farmers and conservationists. Food manufacturers are recognizing that sustainability makes good business sense. Already, 15 companies representing 30 percent of the U.S. food and beverage market have committed to promoting fertilizer use efficiency and soil health.

Collaboration is key to creating better farming tools

Partnerships produce greater levels of engagement, deliver informed stakeholder decisions and focus investments. Working together, EDF and United Suppliers, a cooperative of 560 locally owned and controlled agricultural retailers, developed the SUSTAIN™ platform, a set of proven, effective tools that enhances crop production while improving nutrient use efficiency and reducing soil erosion.

NCGA has collaborated with several partners - including EDF - to implement The Soil Health Partnership. This farmer-led program identifies conservation management practices that improve soil health.

The more we take advantage of opportunities to coordinate efforts to foster healthy and viable U.S. waterways, the closer we'll be to realizing an "A" grade for the Mississippi River Watershed.



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • OKFB's Steve Thompson Says August Area Meetings will Tackle Important Topics for Producers   Sun, 01 Aug 2021 12:02:12 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m, Friday, July 30  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:11:55 CDT
  • Friday, July 30, 2021 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:09:38 CDT
  • US Wheat Associates Weekly Harvest Report for July 20, 2021  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 11:35:12 CDT
  • Oklahoma State’s Leon Spicer awarded National Animal Science Honor  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:41:47 CDT
  • Request for Information on Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern for Research Initiative  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:22:12 CDT
  • Individuals and Great Plains Kubota Recognized for Achievements at 2021 OCA Convention  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:20:15 CDT
  • Research Is Finding Solutions For Human/Black Bear Coexistence  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:17:07 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.