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It is Earth Day every day on Ontario’s farms

by Kim Waalderbos

Share some Earth Day Love!  Here are ten things that Ontario farmers doing on their farms today and every day to improve the environment around them:

  1. Preserving Soil – Our very existence on this planet is dependent on a few inches of topsoil.  Over 2/3 of farmers use conservation tilling practices to help preserve that precious resource.
  2.  Reducing Greenhouse Gases – The carbon sequestered (saved in the soil) due to conservation tillage in Ontario equals 600 kilotonnes/year. That’s equivalent to taking 125,000 cars off the road each year. 
  3.  Environmental Farm Plans – Over 70% of Ontario farmers have taken a course, evaluated their farms’ environmental footprint and made improvements.
  4. Earth to Satellite – Our grandfathers couldn’t have dreamed that GPS satellites could map a field to show exactly what fertilizer or chemicals are needed in precise and reduced amounts, or sometimes none at all.
  5.  Environment School – Ontario farmers have spent over 300,000 days in environmental training courses.
  6.  Bugs can be good – Some farmers buy ‘beneficial insects’ to put in fields or greenhouses to eat the destructive bugs. As always, bees continue to work hard at pollinating plants.
  7.  Trees, Trees, Trees – Farmers have planted hundreds of thousands of trees on their land. Whether it’s for windbreaks to protect the soil, to harvest for Christmas, fuel or building – every tree planted is a good thing for so many reasons.
  8.  Green Energy – Farms have always been a natural recycling centre and new technology is making that even better. Manure is generating power on some farms and sometimes enough for their neighbours too.  Ethanol, biodiesel and solar power are just a few other examples that may help power our future with help from the farm.
  9.  Wetlands, Wildlife and Wide Open Spaces – Take a drive in the country and look around.  Hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and wetlands are on private farmland. Many farmers have worked hard to create, improve or expand those spaces.
  10.  Food and the Environment – The farmers’ ultimate challenge is to grow more food on less land to feed more people.  There are no easy answers, but farmers keep investing in research, both in labs and on the farm, to continue towards that critically important goal.

 

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on April 22nd, 2013 :: Filed under Earth Day,Environment,Uncategorized
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