Press-Republican

Columns

September 1, 2013

Conservation needed in the basin

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that farmers in the lower Mississippi River basin have been reducing erosion and nutrient losses from farmland by the adoption of voluntary conservation measures. 

The findings by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) demonstrate that efforts to control erosion and manage nutrients have led to significant reductions in edge-of-field losses. One of the measures recognized as a significant contributor to these reductions is the use of cover crops.

By controlling runoff of surface water, holding soil in place during the winter and absorbing nutrients that might otherwise leach into the water table, cover crops have the potential to have a significant impact on water quality. 

Concerns about agricultural impacts on the environment have been a hot topic here in the Lake Champlain basin. Like any human activity, agriculture does indeed have effects on the environment; some good, some bad. With modern farms getting bigger, there are both concerns and opportunities to be addressed with respect to environmental impacts.

Over the next few decades, farmers will need to produce more food while at the same time reducing the impact of their farming practices. With the increased consumer interest in agricultural practices and how food is produced, farmers are trying new techniques.

Because of our proximity to Lake Champlain and the many farms along its shores, Cornell Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Clinton County Soil & Water District, held a series of on-farm meetings over the course of the growing season to highlight lake-friendly farming practices and best-management practices for the reduction of non-point-source pollution. With the cooperation of local farms and other agencies, we sought to raise awareness and increase acceptance of practices that will be of benefit to us all.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time