Farmers Adapting to Industry Changes
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Farmers are adapting to numerous shifts in their industry, ranging from price hikes to the effects of climate change. A big change for agribusiness has been moving toward more sustainable methods of production.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture makes up 11% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. The figures can be attributed to such things as the methane gas cows emit, manure management, rice production and burning crop residues.
Antonio Tovar, senior policy associate for the National Family Farm Coalition, said members of the group already have taken action. Aside from rotating land, Tovar observed there are plenty of other ways farmers can be more climate friendly.
"Covering crops is something that they have been adopting for a long period of time," Tovar pointed out. "I will say probably half, if not more, of our members also produce organically. They do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides because it's not a practice that is sustainable."
The efforts come at a time when farmers are feeling the effects of climate change. Throughout the summer and early fall, most of the U.S. has been in a moderate drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of Virginia and the East Coast still are suffering from moderate drought.
In recent years, farming has also faced the challenge of higher land prices. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, farm prices have been on the rise since 2020, with their current value averaging $3,800 an acre.
Tovar feels land needs to be in the hands of people who want to farm, rather than more corporate farming entities, which he contended has led to a problem of devaluing farmers.
"This is not just a problem of the United States but globally, is we have not put enough value into farmers," Tovar asserted. "The profession of farmers and farmworkers has not been valued in the way we should be valuing that work. It's very hard. It's not easy tasks."
He hopes to educate more consumers about the food system and the importance of farmers. He wants people to better understand why a more democratic food system is necessary, so consumers can rally with them to affect those changes.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…