In a modern world today’s Farmer’s future is dependent upon their tool belt. That tool belt consists of a number of resources used to meet environmental regulations and to profitably bring their food to market.
This is the Farmers modern tool belt:
1. What is IPM?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
2. What is Conservation Tillage?
Any method of soil cultivation that leaves the previous year’s crop residue (such as corn stalks or wheat stubble) on fields before and after planting the next crop, to reduce soil erosion and runoff. To provide these conservation benefits, at least 30% of the soil surface must be covered with residue after planting the next crop. Some conservation tillage methods forego traditional tillage entirely and leave 70% residue or more.
3. What are GMO’s
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). They are part of the vast array of bio technology that has been used since the beginning of time to enhance our food supply. Currently marketed GMO crops have traits such as resistance to pests, resistance to herbicides, increased nutritional value, or production of valuable products such as drugs.
A Very Brief History of Bio Technology in Agriculture
People have been adapting farming techniques and altering plants and animals for thousands of years. The current corn-on-the-cob we enjoy at summer barbeques looks nothing like the original plant that originated in South America. The yeasts we apply to fermenting processes in our food supply are another use of bio technology. As our scientific knowledge has increased so has our use of biotechnology.
All of us can recognize the huge technological strides we have made since the 1980’s, and agriculture has been in the thick of it. There have been recent recognition shown for scientific presentations which began in 1983.
On June 19, 2013 the leaders of the three research teams that first applied genetic engineering to crops:
- Robert T. Fraley of Monsanto
- Marc Van Montagu of Ghent University in Belgium, founder of Plant Genetic Systems and Crop Design
- Mary-Dell Chilton of the University of Washington , Washington University in St. Louis and Syngenta
All were awarded with the World Food Prize. The prize, of $250,000, is awarded to people who improve the “quality, quantity or availability” of food in the world. The three competing teams first presented their results in January 1983.GM crops
In 1996, Monsanto introduced two biotechnology breakthroughs in the U.S. – Roundup Ready soybeans and Bollgard cotton, the first commercially released biotech-derived row crops.
We now have second and third generation GMO crops on the market with the following results:
· Oilseed crops with improved oil profiles for healthier edible oils.
· A genetically modified cassava with lower cyanogen glucosides and enhanced with protein and other nutrients
· A vitamin-enriched corn derived from South African white corn variety
Follow this link for more detailed discussion: http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/media/users/lvollmer/pdf/biotech%20chapter%203.pdf
The world asks farmers to feed mankind, use less land resources, increase food yields and maintain nutrient values. Farmers seek the same goals and with help from science, technology, engineering and math research done at our universities, and often paid by the benevolance of large Agri-businesses such as Monsanto, farmers have been able to deliver on these goals. Every farmer in the world, whether the land he tills be small or large seeks to provide a safe, healthful, sustainable crop.
We all recognize there are risks with new technological advances. Have there been mistakes along the way? Yes. Have there been great advances made? Yes. Is there less starvation in the world because of it? Yes. Will farmers continue to feed a growing population and reduce starvation around the world? That depends on our abiity to continue to move forward, which is dependent that peoples fear of the “unknown” does not prevent the world’s scientists and farmers from working together to seek answers for our future. We rely on our institutions of learning and government to provide proper guidance so that we all move forward in our goals to reduce malnutrition, eradicate hunger and support healthy lives.
Risk alone is not a good enough reason to stop moving forward or return to our past.
~ Lorraine Newman