Just ran across this study by Stanford from June of 2010 (well before The Farmer’s Daughter was on my mind). The study found that modern agricultural practices which produce high yields have lowered the amount of greenhouse gas emissions significantly.
In other words, those high yield techniques employed by farmers is actually benefiting the Earth.
Jennifer Burney, lead author of the paper describing the study said:,”Our results dispel the notion that modern intensive agriculture is inherently worse for the environment than a more ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing things.”
The study found that, while the increased use of fertilizers contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, it is slight compared to how much would be produced if more wooded areas had to be cleared to produce the same amount of food. In fact, without the use of such fertilizers, up to several billion of additional acres would have been necessary to keep up with the world’s demand for food.
The study also found that “…Without the emission reductions from yield improvements, the total amount of greenhouse gas pumped into the atmosphere over the preceding 155 years would have been between 18 and 34 percent greater than it has been…”
So, farmers are actually using the best methods available to protect the Earth and manage to feed its population. Not to mention that this was accomplished despite best efforts of all those so-called environmentalists that constantly attack conventional agriculture for ruining and poisoning the planet.
Read more here (and, if you have an hour, watch a video by Ms. Burney regarding the study).