Future Friendly Farming

Report highlights cost-effective strategies to protect wildlife habitat and save taxpayers, farmers and consumers money

10-05-2011 // M├ękell Mikell
Cuontry road with silo

American farmers provide food, fuel and fiber for a growing nation. In the face of challenges including tight budgets, increasing threats to natural systems, climate change and extreme weather, farmers can implement strategies that assure yields and farm income while helping to address these challenges.

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation, Future Friendly Farming: Seven Agricultural Practices to Sustain People and the Environment, offers techniques that farmers and ranchers can use to increase profits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect soil, water and wildlife habitat.

The report also highlights case studies of successful future friendly farming practices from across the nation in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

These practices offer readily-available and highly cost-effective opportunities for farmers and land managers to reduce costs and maintain or increase yields while addressing water quality, wildlife habitat concerns and reduce emissions that fuel climate change,” said Ryan Stockwell, Ph.D., report co-author and agricultural manager for the National Wildlife Federation.

“Farmers and ranchers using future friendly farming practices now are already reaping the rewards with greater profits, better soil and a stronger legacy for the next generation of American farmers,” said Eliav Bitan, report co-author and agricultural advisor for the National Wildlife Federation.

Through case studies, the report demonstrates how using cover crops can increase profits through reduced fertilizer needs, improved soil fertility and easier weed control. Some of the other techniques highlighted in the report that can benefit farmers, ranchers, local communities and ecosystems include:

  • Improving grazing practices to boost soil fertility, biodiversity, and grassland ecosystem health.
  • Using anaerobic digesters to reduce threats to water quality and provide local renewable electric and thermal energy.
  • Carbon offsets opportunities through agricultural and land management.
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