Nothing greener than ag

Created: 4/22/14 (Tue) | Topic: Events

• While farm and ranch productivity has increased dramatically since 1950, the use of resources (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.) required for production has declined markedly.

• America’s farmers and ranchers are doing their part to feed a growing world. Total U.S. crop yield (tons per acre) has increased more than 360 percent since 1950.

• Dairy cow milk production has become more efficient since 1980. The pounds of feed (grain, forage, etc.) a cow needs to consume to produce 100 pounds of milk has decreased by more than 40 percent on average in the last 30 years.

• Since 1982, U.S. land used for crops has declined by 70 million acres. Conservation tillage, a way of farming that reduces erosion (soil loss) on cropland while using less energy, has grown from 17 percent of acreage in 1982 to 63 percent currently. Click here for an infographic.

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

• America’s farm and ranch families are dedicated to caring for our planet. They are ethical caretakers of the land and water resources that help make our nation’s bounty possible.

• In addition to their ethical dedication to protecting the land, it is in the economic interest of farmers and ranchers to care for natural resources. America’s farmers and ranchers take their commitment to land stewardship very seriously.

• Through modern conservation and tillage practices, farmers and ranchers are reducing the loss of soil through erosion, which protects lakes and rivers.

• Today, it is possible for farmers and ranchers to produce more food, fiber and fuel than ever before on fewer acres with fewer crop production supplies.

• Such modern production tools as GPS, biotechnology, conservation tillage and integrated pest management enhance farm and ranch productivity while reducing the environmental footprint.

• Farmers and ranchers are proven and committed environmental stewards, but they are justifiably concerned about the regulatory overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency. At the very time agriculture’s environmental footprint is shrinking, EPA has ramped up its regulatory force.

• More regulations in the face of clear progress (see National Resources Inventory information below) could lead to unintended and negative consequences for the environment.

Shortly after Earth Day 2010, the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service released the latest National Resources Inventory. Through empirical data, the NRI shows that America’s farmers and ranchers care for the land, and through their actions the environment has continually improved over the past 50 years, while at the same time farm and ranch productivity has dramatically increased.

The 2010 National Resources Inventory confirms America’s farm and ranch families are producing more with fewer resources.

The message from the NRI is clear: American agriculture is producing more with less. The productivity figures and shrinking environmental footprint of food and fiber production in the United States verified by the NRI data proves that U.S. agriculture is the envy of the world

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