By Sasha Lyutse
From NRDC - Friday, Oct. 12, 2012
Coalition response...This writer has decided that San Joaquin Valley farmers should change the way they grow crops in order to feed the world. Any understanding of the decisions that farmers make in providing a safe and affordable supply of food is absent in this article.
Farmers realize that the soil they till and plant is essential to their future. Any decisions regarding inputs are made with a sustainability of the soil in mind. After all, if farmers did not care for the soil they would be out of business. Suggesting that current farming practices result in "environmental devastation" is short-sighted and just plain wrong.
Unfortunately, the author references a "landmark report" about nitrates in the soil that has come under intense scrutiny. Today's nutrient management practices are much better than they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago. The suggested changes have probably already taken place. Furthermore, "encouraging all farms...to move across the sustainability spectrum" is double-speak for increased regulations, something that further drives small farms out of business.
California farmers contribute significantly to the nation's access to affordable, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. A recent study by the California Farm Water Coalition shows Americans pay just 6.2% of their disposable income on food and non-alcoholic beverages compared to 10.2% for consumers in 28 other high-income countries. At the same 10.2%, Americans would have to spend an additional $3,820 per year at the grocery store, which in this economy many can't spare.
Farming is difficult, even for the men and women who live with it every day. Imagine how much more difficult it would be and the consequences that could occur when those decisions are coming from a blogger's desk far, far away.
From Wall Street Journal - Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
From Sacramento Bee - Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
From SD Union-Tribune - Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012
From Modesto Bee - Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012
(This arrticle was previously printed in the Sacramento Bee.)
From SF Chronicle - Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012
From Stockton Record - Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012
From Water Association of Kern County - Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
From Visalia Times-Delta - Monday, Oct. 15, 2012