Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Corn Growers Know Smart Farming Means Clean Water

Recently, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an article highly critical of farmers. Filled with sensational headlines but short on real facts. Below is a response from one of those farmers who was interviewed.

Letter to the Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
, 06/19/200
Corn growers know smart farming means clean water

I am one of the farmers who was interviewed by Bill Lambrecht for his story "More ethanol, more corn, more fertilizer, more pollution " (June 10) on ethanol and corn production. We spent a lot of time talking about the environmental benefits of new technologies and the way we farm today. I am extremely disappointed that it was all lost in the article.

Today, using conservation tillage, we leave more residue on the surface of the soil to protect it from wind and water erosion. I am building organic matter on my corn acres because of the plant material left in the field.

Facts show the dramatic reduction in inputs, including nitrogen, needed to grow a bushel of corn. Farmers have developed buffer and filter strips and use best management practices in field operations. The water in our rivers and lakes are cleaner because of this.

We have cut our fuel use per bushel of corn as well. We use half the fuel per bushel we did 10 years ago, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

Corn technology has helped me make my farm a better farm. My son and I represent six generations of farmers working this soil, and we are leaving the farm in better condition than we found it.

It is good to spend our energy dollars in the United States, and it starts right here in rural America. The other choice is to continue to send huge amounts of money to buy energy from hostile places. What is the cost of stationing the 6th Fleet and our soldiers in the Middle East?

We have opportunities to lower our dependence on foreign oil, and we need to pursue them as fast as we can. Corn to ethanol is not the complete answer but is the first step, and it is here now.

Leon Corzine
| Assumption, Ill.

balanced food and fuel energy security ethanol

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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