Farmers are always making decisions. What crop should I grow? What seed should I plant? When should I plant? What types of crop protection do I need? What types of fertilizer will work best? Are there other things I can do to make the farm sustainable? When should I sell my crops?
No matter what decision is front and center, one fact is always true: farmers are always looking to do what is best for their own farm.
All of our farms are different. We have different climates, different soil, different employees, different capabilities, different equipment, different markets and different sizes. Production choices are, ultimately, a highly personalized decision for each individual farm. While some things, like no-till, may have wide adoption and benefits, that isn’t true for everything.
There is certainly nothing wrong with getting excited about a new tool, technique, or technology. I do it all the time. But we should be careful not to pretend everyone has to accept it or they’re doing something wrong. We often see this happen when the media latch onto a new idea and all of a sudden every farmer that adopts it is a saint, and all the farmers not adopting it are destroying the planet.
But decisions are never that black and white. We have a lot of things to consider. Farmers have to make decisions that work best for their own farms. Trust me, we’re making decisions that are make our farms sustainable, both environmentally and economically.
Dennis Laughton says
You are absolutely correct. Our province extends from the 49th parallel (south of that is USA) north to the 60th. Some form of agriculture happens up to the 57th. A lot of the northern areas are summer grazing areas. That is another reason why ruminant animals double the surface of the earth that is capable of producing food. Where I am going with this geographic description is that people that complain about agriculture have absolutely no idea of the diversity of land mass that farmers cope with and make productive / use to produce food. My drive way is at 3500 ft. elevation and there is a lot of grazing land to the west (foothills of the Rocky Mountains) There are a lot of 3rd generation ranchers, definitley no cookie cutter ranchers in that lot. I started out to say something but went in a totally different direction. Perhaps it makes sense to some.