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Modern farming is grounds for Earth Day celebration

[ 0 ] April 20, 2012 |

From Syngenta Crop Protection:

Modern farming practices such as conservation tillage and no-till farming are responsible for significant environmental benefits often overlooked by Earth Day observers.

With no-till, farmers plant crops and control weeds without turning the soil. This method decreases erosion, reduces fuel use and improves water quality. In addition to the environmental benefits, no-till empowers farmers to grow more crops and feed more people than was possible 42 years ago when Earth Day first originated.

In the 1970s, a revolution in agriculture began when farmers started converting from conventional, intensive tillage systems to a system more in tune with nature. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that soil erosion from U.S. cropland declined more than 40 percent between 1982 and 2007, thanks in part to no-till and conservation tillage practices. These modern farming practices were made possible in part by the use of atrazine, a herbicide that can manage many different types of weeds under a wide variety of conditions.

“Atrazine’s reliable performance gave farmers the confidence they could control weeds without tillage,” said Richard Fawcett, Ph.D., former agronomy professor at Iowa State University who is now an agricultural consultant…

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