A grower sustainability panel took place during the Bayer CropScience 2012 Ag Issues Forum. The theme of the session was “Hands in the Dirt: First-Hand Grower Experiences.” One of the panel members pictured is Nancy Kavazanjian, a farmer from Wisconsin who grows corn, soybeans and wheat.
I asked Nancy what the word “sustainability” means to her. She says that when “a farmer hears the word sustainable they kind of cringe . . . because it concerns them that they’re being forced to do something that they’re not already doing.” But she says that most farmers are being sustainable. She points out that many farmers are multi-generations on the farm and they have to be sustainable for that to happen. To become more sustainable Nancy says they use cover crops and precision ag to make sure they can strip-till. She says they know they need to reduce tillage but in their climate they need to do some. She says they definitely use new technology and that includes seed technology to get the best yields. The use of these technologies reduces the amount of inputs they have to use.
You can listen to my interview with Nancy here: Interview with Nancy Kavazanjian