Posts Tagged: erosion

Buffer Initiative: It Will Help Protect Water & is Flexible Enough to Meet Farmer Needs

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Clean Water, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, Water.

By George Boody Governor Mark Dayton announced in January his proposal to require an additional 125,000 acres of perennial vegetation along lakes, rivers and streams. There is a long history of utilizing such living borders to filter out fertilizers and herbicides, while fortifying streambanks and reducing the amount of eroded soil that ends up in… Read more »

Frac Sand’s Wild Refugees

Posted by & filed under agriculture, clean energy future, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, oil, Wildlife.

By Johanna Rupprecht, Land Stewardship Project There’s a farm near the Jackson County, Wis., community of Hixton that is in the process of being destroyed by being turned into a frac sand mine. I would say it’s a least a couple of hundred acres. It’s at the intersection of Highway 95 and Green (but not… Read more »

Continuous Learning About Continuous Living Cover

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, Water.

When it comes to introducing and supporting innovative sustainable farming practices, nothing beats a field day. Such events provide an opportunity for farmers to see firsthand how profitable, environmentally sound production practices are performing on their neighbor’s land under climatic, agronomic and economic conditions they can relate to. Studies have shown that while sustainable farming… Read more »

Forever Green & Highly Efficient Agriculture

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, Water.

To understand why the Forever Green Initiative is so important to the future of Minnesota’s landscape, one has to consider this: there is a big difference between agricultural productivity and agricultural efficiency. In states like Minnesota, the spectacular productivity of our corn-soybean system is evident: bin busting yields are the norm. But there’s a lot… Read more »

Cover Crops: Not Just Foul Weather Friends

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, Water.

Cover crops proved themselves foul weather friends during the Great Drought of 2012. A groundbreaking farmer survey conducted in the Upper Mississippi River watershed showed that during that year’s brutal growing season keeping the soil covered with small grains and other plants helped fields preserve enough precious moisture to provide a yield bump of, in… Read more »

Agriculture: How Not to Be Tools of Our Tools

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

One recent August day, I stood in a field in North Dakota watching soil being spaded up and listening to farmers talk about the optimal cover crop seeding mixes, how long to mob graze a paddock and which no-till equipment does the best job of cutting through last year’s plant residue. It was 90 degrees… Read more »

Why is James E. McWilliams Ignoring the Facts on Sustainable Ag?

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

History Professor James E. McWilliams’ recent doubled-barreled attack on sustainable livestock production and the local food movement in general is so contradictory and full of factual holes, it’s tough to know where to begin to pick it apart. But it must be picked apart, since it has appeared in the New York Times and subsequently… Read more »

Cashing in on Soil Quality

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

Talk of how agriculture can improve soil quality seems to be popping up more frequently these days. Perhaps the most exciting recent mention was in an issue of Successful Farming magazine, which has produced an impressive package of stories called The Good Earth. Most of what’s in this package won’t be news to anyone who’s… Read more »

Stripping Erosion Control to its Bare Essentials

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Water.

While walking through a knee-high prairie planted on a central Iowa hillside Tuesday, I happened to look down. Trapped amongst all that vegetation was an impressive amount of rich, black glacial soil, the kind that produces record crop yields. And just a few feet away was the source of that soil: a soybean field planted… Read more »

Relax Farmers: Climate Change is Good for You (Not)

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Global Warming.

In 1989, I worked for a farm magazine that claimed global climate change, if real, would actually be good for agriculture since rising carbon dioxide levels would act as some sort of mega plant growth promoter. During the past seven days, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when extreme weather—which many scientists say is an offshoot… Read more »