Several recent articles, as well as agricultural community input, have shed light on current strategies for reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
VanTilburg Farms and Gibbs Farm are realizing the benefits of cover crops. Cover crop benefits include improved soil fertility and quality; weed, pest, and disease management; and reduced water and manure/fertilizer runoff. Thus, cover crops provide benefits to producers and the environment, including the watershed.
The first photo below depicts grazing on annual rye grass seeded over standing corn. The second shows a local cover crop seeder.
In other developments, an article published in Capital Press reveals how digester systems ramp up efficiency. The article, written by Dan Wheat, explains:
"…recent advances in nutrient recovery technology make it commercially viable to extract marketable biofertilizers, including ammonium sulfate and organic phosphates, from the manure in the digesters. That reduces by 60 to 70 percent the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that go back to the land via dairy lagoons and irrigation."
Another article, published by the OSU Extension, discusses how a revolutionary new wastewater system has saved a turkey processor millions of dollars while protecting the environment.