Steve Hanks

Steve Hanks

  • United States, GA, Thomasville
Steve Hanks Thomasville, GA
Jul 3, 2021
in Fertility And Soils  

"You should be able to tell from my blog that I am a big fan of soil health/regenerative agriculture. ... With all this in mind, however, ... I'm getting worried that we are trying to break this approach to farming and ranching down into a simplistic laundry list of specific things you have to do each and every year on each and every acre instead of recognizing that every acre is a little different and that every producer has a different reality. ... All I can suggest is that maybe we take a little time to step back from the checklist and take a broader view of what needs to be done on an individual farm or ranch."

https://southernplainsperspective.wordpress.com/2021/07/01/dont-lose-sight-of-the-forest-for-the-trees/


Categories: Soil Health, Sustainable Agriculture, Conservation Plans

3 Upvotes
4 Comments

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Mark Smith Cumberland City, TN
Jul 3, 2021

My friend, while I agree with the sentiments, the problem comes when federal dollars (and potential punitive action) are tied to these terms. A military saying is that "words mean things". It sounds self explanatory, but we often assume others "know what we mean"; so the military created a DOD dictionary addendum of terms so that even coalition allies would understand that "contain" and "cordon" require different resources and requirements, and could have very different costs. And agricultural example could be that of 'local'. With all of the 'locavore' and 'eat local' movements, this really has no official meaning. Even our own federal government has not sought to define it (I could say more on this term). Fortunately, there have been no punitive actions from the government implied for those that do not want local. I still haven't found any official differentiation between the attached terms save very subjective marketing themes. While this has never been a major issue in the past, we now have the federal government (USDA/NRCS) implying adherence to regenerative standards in return for certain benefits, and unspoken punitive actions if these standards are not kept by those who chose to accept these benefits.

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Mark Smith Cumberland City, TN
Jul 4, 2021

And if we farmers do not push back and require our civil service staffs (without formal agricultural training or experience as a farmer), be specific about what the government expects from us, then who?

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Mark Smith Cumberland City, TN
Jul 3, 2021
Forgive spelling errors - typed with fat thumbs on a tiny smartphone without my glasses - Ha!

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Steve Hanks Thomasville, GA
Updated Jul 5, 2021
Yes, I think your point gets touched on, too, when he says, “You have to have sideboards and guardrails if you are going to have programs and markets. There has to be some direction on what does and doesn’t qualify. At the same time, we shouldn’t lose sight of the need for flexibility and site-specific approaches when dealing with soil health. .... I honestly don’t have an answer for how to get around all this.” 

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