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Everyday is Earth Day for Pork Producers

by 5m Editor
23 April 2010, at 7:22am

IOWA, US - The world celebrates Earth Day once a year, but Iowa pork producers work daily to preserve and protect our natural resources.

Many of the production practices used by the more than 8,000 Iowa pork operations today are designed to improve the environment. Manure management plans, soil and water conservation practices, air quality strategies and wildlife habitat management are all critical components of a pork producer’s farming enterprise.

“It is important to me to be able to play a role in helping preserve and better our environment,“ says pork producer Roger Nath from rural Hartley, the winner of a national Environmental Stewardship Award in 2009. “Stewardship is about giving back and the love of the land and the outdoors. I hope each following generation has an opportunity to experience all that I enjoy.“

The pork industry employs many different strategies for manure storage and application to minimise the impact on air and water quality. A vast majority of pork producers are diversified farmers and also raise crops. Most producers either inject liquid manure from hog barns directly into the crop land, or land apply and then incorporate the nutrients into the soil to conserve the nutrients and improve soil quality. It also virtually eliminates runoff into streams and waterways. An added benefit is a reduction of odor during and after nutrient application.

By regularly attending training and certification programs offered by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa State University and others, pork producers stay abreast of the latest environmental protection methods.

Farmers are the original environmentalists and have been practicing good conservation for generations.

Earth Day may be a one-day celebration for society, but for pork producers, protecting the environment is a year-round event.