Sustainability is important to farmers and fundamental to their farming practices. Soybean farmers Reggie Strickland, Chuck Prellwitz and Kevin Wilson discuss why sustainable farming methods such as maintaining soil fertility and protecting water quality are so important to their operations and how they translate to benefits for their customers.
Why is Sustainability Important to You?
Reggie Strickland, North Carolina: Sustainability is important to me and my farming operation for several reasons. We want to do everything in our power to protect the environment. Because we use sustainable practices on our farm, we can increase our yields and preserve the soil and environment for future generations of farmers. This is important to our customers because efficiency and sustainable crop practices are in high demand.
Chuck Prellwitz, Wisconsin: The backbone of a sustainable farm is the health of the soil. Managing the phosphorus on my soil is critical and personal. Phosphorus runoff feeds algae blooms, contaminating the lake. When I use sustainability methods like no-till, which leaves the soil undisturbed by machinery, I help conserve lakes and water and keep our farm soil fertile. My daughter-in-law actually serves the Green Lake Association in Wisconsin, which protects and restores the quality of a beautiful, 100-foot-deep lake and associated watershed, so I have seen the positive impacts water quality efforts can have.
Kevin Wilson, Indiana: Maintaining inputs and outputs of agrochemicals is very important to maintaining my profitability and our farm’s sustainability. We have automatic shutoffs on sprayers, so we don’t overpopulate or overspray. A good spray program minimizes the number of hours on a tractor, which reduces the amount of fuel I use per acre. Plus, low-emission engines leave the air cleaner than it was before. The proof comes from our soil tests, which indicate that our soils are becoming sulfur-deficient due to less sulfur in the air.
U.S. Soy helps make whatever you make more sustainable. Steps to improve sustainability are taken throughout the soy value chain to create an environmentally friendly product for end users to sell to consumers. Farm practices such as precision agriculture, pesticide-resistance management, reduced tillage and buffer strips all positively impact environmental goals, including water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions.
Visit unitedsoybean.org/sustainability-report to download the Soy Sustainability Report.