This is a response from Jim Boak, equipment and crop technology specialist for The Salford Group in Salford, Ontario to the intensive use of tile in Minnesota. It's one of those commentaries that is thought provoking and causes one to ask, "How will agriculture respond in light of the concerns brought up?" I would love to hear anyone's perspective of blending what we have learned from the past with where we see the future going!
"Jim Boak, equipment and crop technology specialist for The Salford Group in Salford, Ontario: There is no mystery about how we in agriculture ended up being major polluters without trying. Fifty and 60 years ago, 100- and 200-acre farms were the norm. Fields were fenced in parcels of 5 to 20 acres, and portions of each farm were woodlots or wetlands. Multiple plant species were cropped in rotation, small numbers of livestock were found on almost every farm, cereals were grown for bedding and feed, and cover crops were grown and utilized as feed. Additionally, livestock manure was not concentrated in large amounts to small areas, and less than 20 percent of the total farm grew row crops, with very few inputs that included the suffix icides."
Read the article here.