Farmers care about the environment and use ‘best management practices’ to protect it. At the Ag Biotech Academy workshop, experts shared about ways these practices help both farmers and the environment.
Bart Neer, a 5th generation farmer, grows corn and soybeans with his family. 60% of their crop goes toward seed production, growing seed to be planted next year. Neer talked about the Round Up Ready Xtend soybeans that provide an alternative to pesticides for controlling weeds.
Jeff Goodbar from Sunrise Cooperative mentioned the 4R plan (right source, rate, time and place for fertilizers and nutrients) which helps protect the environment. Co-op crop advisors make recommendations to farmers to promote sustainability.
Clay Lust of DuPont Pioneer covers the region of Michigan and Ohio. Lust shared how studying soil type, yield date, and weather helps growers know when and what to plant. This careful consideration helps protect the environment and maximize yield.
Allen Armstrong is a farmer and member of the Ohio Soybean Association. He referenced the renovated barn we were meeting in and compared it to ag today: old technology with new technology added to it. “We’re concerned about the land because it’s our own back yard; it’s where our children live.” Armstrong pointed out that farmers are in business to make money, so it makes good sense to be sustainable. “We have a vested interest in knowing how to farm. Data drives us to make decisions that are better for us and for the environment,” he said. “We need to know what’s happening so we can fix it. That’s what ag is all about,” he said. “Challenging ourselves to do better.”