(NAPSI)—Farmers have been called the original conservationists because they have a rich history of tending to the delicate balance between soil and water that sustains life for all. Their love of the land drives what may well be the next major evolution in agriculture.
Most industries strive to do more with less, and agriculture is no different. Today's farmers use advanced tools and technologies that focus on the basics of plant science: how to make plants more efficient at taking up the essential nutrients they need. These new tools include products that increase fertilizer efficiency, make nutrients more available to growing crops and even create "hunger pangs" within those crops that signal plants to grab more nutrients.
By increasing nutrient use efficiency or ensuring more nutrients go to the plant, these technologies not only improve crop yields but also benefit the environment, especially soil health and water quality. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that might otherwise wind up in waterways are instead left in the soil in significantly reduced amounts where they can be used by the plants that need them.
"Advanced science allows us to create new interactions among biological, chemical and physical relationships that benefit plant growth and output," said Greg Thompson, president and chief operating officer for Verdesian Life Sciences, an industry leader and global supplier of plant health, biological and nutrition technologies headquartered in Cary, North Carolina. "At the same time, the positive environmental characteristics of these innovations are helping farmers improve their sustainability and conservation efforts, which they desire as stewards of natural resources and which are also being demanded by consumers and food companies."
The product and technology portfolio offered by the company focuses on minimizing modern agriculture's environmental footprint while simultaneously helping farmers to remain profitable. "Conservation on farmland can seem hard to define. We define sustainability and conservation as continuous improvement on every acre around water quality and soil health," Thompson added. "Our purpose as an organization is to help farmers adopt and follow best practices that support environmentally, economically and socially sustainable crop production. Being a good environmental steward and operating a profitable farm are not mutually exclusive."
"Farmers want to see their fertilizer and nutrients leave the field in a grain truck at harvest—not be left in the soil or washed away in drainage," said Mike Wilson, specialty products marketing manager and agronomist for Wabash Valley Service Company, a major supplier of farm inputs and agronomic services for farmers in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. "This new category of nutrient use efficiency products is every bit as revolutionary as the first John Deere plow."
Wilson works closely with roughly 2,500 customers who farm across several environmentally sensitive watersheds. Each has a nutrient management planÊ that Wilson's team helps farmers develop and implement. These plans are designed to maintain high crop yield potential while implementing the best possible environmental stewardship practices with fertilizer applications.
"We meet our environmental objectives by only applying the minimal amount of fertilizer needed to make a crop and we're very careful as to what, when, where and how much is applied," Wilson explained. "We also use new fertilizer efficiency technologies to get the most out of every pound of fertilizer applied by increasing the nutrient use efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorus—more in the plant means less in the environment."
This latest agricultural evolution benefits consumers by maintaining a plentiful and affordable supply of healthy and safe food, clean drinking water and productive, sustainable soils that will feed and nourish us for generations to come, Wilson noted.
For further facts on advances in agriculture, go to www.vlsci.com.
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