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Created: 10/07/11 (Fri) | Topic: Education

Conservation tillage, a way of farming that reduces erosion, or soil loss, on cropland while using less energy, has grown from 17 percent of acreage in 1982 to 63 percent today. At the same time, total land used for crops declined by 15 percent, or about 70 million acres.

Farmers, ranchers and other landowners have installed more than 2 million miles of conservation buffers. Buffers improve soil, air and water quality; enhance wildlife habitat and create scenic landscapes.

Careful stewardship by America’s food producers spurred a nearly 50 percent decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982.

Crop rotation, the practice of growing different crops in succession on the same land, is another way farmers take care of the land.

Farmers often test soil before planting to determine composition, ooH and balance of nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Results are used to determine the proper type and amount of fertilizer to apply.

The pounds of feed (grain, forage, etc.) a cow needs to eat to produce 100 pounds of milk has decreased by more than 40 percent on average in the last 30 years. And that’s not because the cows are going hungry, but because of the efficiency of the feed farmers are giving their animals.

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