P1010822

This photo was taken just a few hours ago after a heavy downfall. It is at the junction of Pitt School road and Sievers road. Our neighbors field is bare and as soon as it rains heavily the water runs off the field and into the road. The water and the soil it carries end up in the Bay.

Topsoil is a very important to the our survival on this little planet of ours. The Romans farmed to death the grain fields of North Africa. Our organic fields are like sponges, they soak up the rain. 

Should we blame the farmer? No, lets look at why this happens. The farmer who farms this land does not necessarily own it. Landlords often demand the farmer to grow the crops with the highest rent return to the owner. The margin that the farmer makes will be slim, there is little or no money to plant a cover crop never mind the time or tractors to incorporate it in the spring. The crops are sold wholesale to processors or onto the world markets. Production costs have to as low as possible to maximise profits. If the farmer does not do well then his lender could pull his financing or the owner of the land could discontinue the lease.

The solution, farmers need to make more money and maybe we need to look at the subsidies paid to corn  growers redirected to encourage activities that protect our soil such as winter cover cropping.

 

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