LINCOLN, NE – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is expected to release a new study, Thur. Nov.19, that will inform Midwestern farmers that they could cut crop losses and save water by shifting to more “climate-resilient” soil conservation methods. But Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says the NRDC’s study won’t provide much insight for the vast majority of Nebraska farmers and ranchers who’ve been working to conserve soil and water resources for generations.
“This is an environmental activist organization that’s lead by celebrities such as Robert Redford, Leonardo DiCaprio and James Taylor. If they’re just figuring out conserving soil and water on Midwestern farms is an important conservation measure, they’re about a century too late to the party. This is more about them pushing an extreme environmental agenda, than providing helpful insight to farmers,” said Nelson.
“While adopting on-ground practices to conserve soil and water might be revolutionary to a New York City headquartered environmental group, Nebraska farmers and ranchers are more than familiar with the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges that come from working to conserve the soil and water in the face of Mother Nature,” said Nelson.
NRDC’s report is expected to point out to farmers how cover crops can make farms more resilient to extreme weather risks, a practice many farmers are familiar with and already use on their operations.
“For nearly 80 years farmers have partnered with interests like the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to keep soil on the land and conserve water. In Nebraska, we’ve experienced the most severe of droughts and the harshest of rainfall events. Through it all we do our best to keep soil in place and use water as efficiently as possible,” said Nelson. “If you’re not about conserving soil and water, you just don’t last in farming very long. It’s the self-regulator in agriculture.”
According to Nelson, farmers and ranchers have worked diligently adopting new practices and new technologies on the farm through generations, particularly in Nebraska where water management is critical to farmers and ranchers ability to stay in business.
“Farmers and ranchers are always looking to do better, whether that’s in how we care for our natural resources or our livestock animals. We’re more than willing to work beside those who share our commitment to those efforts, but it’s insulting to Nebraska farm and ranch families to have national activist groups pretend they’re looking out for our best interests, when it’s clear they have little insight into what’s really happening on farms and ranches,” said Nelson
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 60,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is key to fueling Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit nefb.org.