Farmers work carefully to protect environment
Recent media articles have focused on concerns about blue green algae events and other water body pollution. The insinuation seems to be that agriculture plays a large role. When a study was done several years ago of the Buffalo Creek watershed that my farm is in, the greatest pollution culprit was out-of-date sewer systems.
Farmers use good practices, use as little of the expensive chemicals as we can legally use (labeled rates need to be adhered to), and have a long list of regulations we must comply with. We have thick nutrient management plans we follow and we are subject to inspections. The agricultural environmental management plans that most of us subscribe to give us good guidelines to serve as better environmental stewards. We are in constant contact with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and our local soil and water technicians to be sure we’re being the best stewards we can be.
The care we have for the environment in New York far supersedes what is done in many of the foreign countries that our food could come from. If my farm is put out of business by additional regulatory requirements and affiliated costs, our food will come from overseas. As a director of the Erie County Farm Bureau, I hope that reason will prevail in many of the upcoming decisions the Environmental Protection Agency is considering. I hope we can continue to keep our food production within our country.