Meeting Challenges with Conservation Management

In our industry, we share the same goals of producing more food on less land while improving soil and water quality, minimizing irrigation needs and decreasing economic risk to producers. That might be considered a tall order for any other industry, but not the agriculture industry.

Our industry does the difficult quickly. Implementing conservation management programs that protect and improve the quality of our soil and water while increasing yield is a production goal that once was considered impossible.

At the start of this adoption process, some may recall hearing growers refer to conservation tillage practices as “farming ugly.” Since then, we’ve all learned that going green can be really attractive — in our fields, in the marketplace and in farmers’ ledgers.

Farming sustainably also increases opportunities to produce food, fuel and fiber on challenging land, thus increasing agricultural production in those countries in greatest need of agricultural and economic development.

With the implementation of conservation tillage practices, we almost immediately started reaping the benefits of increased organic content in our soils, moisture retention and reduced stormwater runoff. On the downside, however, we had to adjust to shifts in pest complexes and changes in the nutrition needs of our crops.

Impacts on environmental sustainability of our land and water and the economic sustainability of our producers are part of evaluating every product we develop.

For example, Dow AgroSciences evaluates every corn hybrid and cotton, canola and soybean variety for water efficiency and subjects every pest treatment to rigorous efficacy and stewardship standards. As a company, Dow AgroSciences consistently brings environmentally responsible products to many segments of the global marketplace.

Nitrogen stabilizer products are among the tools Dow AgroSciences provides to agricultural markets. As a partner of The Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Nutrient Stewardship program, Dow AgroSciences supports environmentally beneficial fertilizer practices. The 4R framework takes an innovative, science-based approach that provides stakeholders with educational tools, advocacy support and implementation recommendations for crop nutrient stewardship.

For the health of our planet and continued farm profitability, we must use the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement.

N-Serve® and Instinct® II nitrogen stabilizers protect one of the crop’s largest input investment, ensuring nitrogen is available longer when and where crops need it most. From a conservation perspective, the products reduce leaching of nitrogen into groundwater and tile lines leading into surface waters and reduced nitrogen loss into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.

Protecting our land and water may be seen as a noble goal. However, conservation and stewardship of our natural resources are essential to our continued survival, globally. Sustainably intensifying agricultural production is essential to the survival of our industry and the global population. We humbly work our land because we know it is not ours. The land belongs to our children and the generations to follow.

As our population increases, we must not only ensure we maintain the quality of our soil and water but also increase quality so more people can benefit from its use. We could call that “farming beautiful.”

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