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Letters from readers
May 18, 2018

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To the editor:

This is a potpourri of comments from articles appearing in April 20th and 27th editions of FN. The cover story of April 27th featured the 2018 National Conservation Legacy Award winner, Mike Schleisman, and the conservation practices he employs to earn the award. And, we all can agree, it is an impressive list including cover crops, saturated buffers, bioreactors, CRP and etc.

However, no where in the article was there any reference to his tillage practices. Surprising! Since tillage causes erosion and erosion is the curse of conservation, the FIRST step in any effective conservation program is the elimination of tillage! Unless that first step is taken, ALL other conservation measures are merely band aids!

I don't want to hear from the tillage addicts who have convinced themselves THEIR heavy, black Iowa soils must be tilled to produce corn and soybeans. Mother Nature NEVER created a soil using tillage, and, with all certainty, I can assure you NO soil requires tillage! In fact, ALL tillage degrades soil structure and organic matter allowing the ravages of wind and water to pollute our surface waters.

Second point-why would FN allow advertising for wind turbines and solar panels in the Resource Conservation section? Wind blows everywhere 1/3rd of the time and the sun shines everywhere again about 33 % of the time and both have absolutely NOTHING to do with farming! Unless, of course, we're talking about the avoidance of the turbine!

Finally, Bob Streit says the "cold soil temps are keeping farmers from planting!" Maybe in Fort Dodge-up here it's the snow!

Jerry Crew

Webb, Ia

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