15 votes

Why soil is disappearing from farms

11 comments

  1. [11]
    Keegan
    (edited )
    Link
    This is a really interesting article and hits close to home. The area I live in is primarily rural and has had issues with erosion in the last few years, leading to some fields becoming flooded,...

    This is a really interesting article and hits close to home. The area I live in is primarily rural and has had issues with erosion in the last few years, leading to some fields becoming flooded, which only worsens the problem. They also have some interesting conclusions about how to deal with the issue, and I wonder if the same type of practice of "prairie strips" would apply well to crops like corn and soybeans, which aren't really mentioned much in the article.


    On a side note, I must say that the page design really hurt my eyes to read and focus on. The contrast isn't a lot in some places, and the background images are very distracting. I was going to post an Outline link here as an alternative for those that struggled with viewing this page, but it only gave the first paragraph of the article. I suggest using "reader mode" instead.

    edit: fixed some blatant typos that escaped me while writing the comment on my phone somehow.

    3 votes
    1. [10]
      ubergeek
      Link Parent
      This is one thing that super confuses me (Well, it doesn't, but that's another story), at least in the US... Rural areas will be hit far harder than urban areas as far as climate change goes. Yet,...

      This is one thing that super confuses me (Well, it doesn't, but that's another story), at least in the US...

      Rural areas will be hit far harder than urban areas as far as climate change goes. Yet, they elect representatives who keep saying,"There's no problem, trust me!" even though the problem is obvious, and impacts their daily life.

      2 votes
      1. [7]
        Keegan
        Link Parent
        I don't think they actively seek out climate change denying politicians. It's just that those people generally fall into the conservative category that most rural folks belong to. Most of the...

        I don't think they actively seek out climate change denying politicians. It's just that those people generally fall into the conservative category that most rural folks belong to.

        Most of the politicians who want to do something drastic about climate change have some radical idea about a topic that is very progressive, so rural people don't like them.

        Anyways, I think it's hard to accept for anyone that they would need to drastically change their lifestyle if any sort of climate policy was enabled, and the life of a farmer would change much more than that of someone living in an urban area IMO.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          ubergeek
          Link Parent
          You basically said they don't actively seek out climate change denying politicians, then said that they do :)

          You basically said they don't actively seek out climate change denying politicians, then said that they do :)

          1. [5]
            Keegan
            Link Parent
            I can see what you mean, but I meant the first paragraph as reasoning for why rural people choose the deniers, and the second for why they don't choose those who want to make a change.

            I can see what you mean, but I meant the first paragraph as reasoning for why rural people choose the deniers, and the second for why they don't choose those who want to make a change.

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              ubergeek
              Link Parent
              Well, I can see what you're saying, but I strongly disagree. I mean, the number of farmers who are staunch climate change deniers is astounding, to say the least. They are literally seeing the...

              Well, I can see what you're saying, but I strongly disagree. I mean, the number of farmers who are staunch climate change deniers is astounding, to say the least.

              They are literally seeing the changes, year by year. Season by season.

              1. [3]
                Keegan
                Link Parent
                I haven't seen any numbers on this topic, so I would love to see some if you have them. Again, I don't think many farmers (at least in my area, so I can't speak about the whole) think that nothing...

                the number of farmers who are staunch climate change deniers is astounding

                I haven't seen any numbers on this topic, so I would love to see some if you have them.

                They are literally seeing the changes, year by year. Season by season.

                Again, I don't think many farmers (at least in my area, so I can't speak about the whole) think that nothing is happening. It's just that any changes in policy about climate change would destroy their lifestyle even more than climate change currently is.

                Also, you must keep in mind that farmers can easily get into a lot of debt by having a bad season, so it leaves them with even less options to change their ways. That is why I was excited about this article, because it gave a way to do something without absolutely destroying the profitability of farming.

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  ubergeek
                  Link Parent
                  https://medium.com/s/story/how-to-talk-to-us-conservatives-about-global-warming-1a484aaf6227 If you're a conservative, you're also likely a climate change denier. Conservatism outpaces any other...

                  I haven't seen any numbers on this topic, so I would love to see some if you have them.

                  https://medium.com/s/story/how-to-talk-to-us-conservatives-about-global-warming-1a484aaf6227

                  If you're a conservative, you're also likely a climate change denier. Conservatism outpaces any other ideology among farmers, by a long shot. If it didn't we wouldn't have large, rural, red area.

                  Again, I don't think many farmers (at least in my area, so I can't speak about the whole) think that nothing is happening.

                  Your area might be an outlier, then.

                  It's just that any changes in policy about climate change would destroy their lifestyle even more than climate change currently is.

                  Destroy it more than have no farm?

                  Also, you must keep in mind that farmers can easily get into a lot of debt by having a bad season

                  No, they can't. Not in the US. We subsidize farmers, so that doesn't happen. "Crop insurance" is a thing, that all US citizens pay for.

                  That is why I was excited about this article, because it gave a way to do something without absolutely destroying the profitability of farming.

                  I don't think anyone has suggested a solution that makes farming unprofitable, except Big Agricultural corporations.

                  In fact, most solutions have farming more profitable, since a big suggestion is to stop using methods that require a farmer to buy fertilizer, or to stop growing crops that must be trucked overland. ie, working with the land, and for the land, rather always battling the land.

                  1. Keegan
                    Link Parent
                    The source doesn't mention any data on farmers' beliefs about climate change. You are extrapolating the data by trying to make it say that farmers are mostly climate change deniers. Neither of our...

                    https://medium.com/s/story/how-to-talk-to-us-conservatives-about-global-warming-1a484aaf6227
                    If you're a conservative, you're also likely a climate change denier. Conservatism outpaces any other ideology among farmers, by a long shot. If it didn't we wouldn't have large, rural, red area.

                    The source doesn't mention any data on farmers' beliefs about climate change. You are extrapolating the data by trying to make it say that farmers are mostly climate change deniers.

                    Your area might be an outlier, then.

                    Neither of our views on this have significant backing through data, so let's ignore this portion of the conversation.

                    Destroy it more than have no farm?

                    Currently, climate change isn't making it so there is no farm left, just that there are some challenges with when they can plant and harvest. Also the erosion is an issue, but the "prairie strips" might solve it.

                    No, they can't. Not in the US. We subsidize farmers, so that doesn't happen. "Crop insurance" is a thing, that all US citizens pay for.

                    The problem is that those subsidies don't pay for everything, and a lot of that money goes to the big corporations that are farming.

                    https://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=total&page=conc

                    I don't think anyone has suggested a solution that makes farming unprofitable, except Big Agricultural corporations.

                    There have been some absurd suggestions that would decimate the ability to farm. I just don't think we are compatible with viewing this issue.

                    stop using methods that require a farmer to buy fertilizer, or to stop growing crops that must be trucked overland

                    The problem with this is that changing the methods or the crops requires different machinery, which is more expensive than a typical house in rural areas.

                    2 votes
      2. [2]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        The problem isn't obvious and the impact to their daily lives isn't always recognizable. What exactly are you talking about? Humans are notoriously bad at recognizing incremental changes. You...

        The problem isn't obvious and the impact to their daily lives isn't always recognizable. What exactly are you talking about?

        Humans are notoriously bad at recognizing incremental changes. You don't remember how hot it felt last year or the year before compared to today. You don't remember how many hurricanes or wildfires there were last year. If they are willfully avoiding the statistics what makes you think the problem is obvious? It's obvious to us because we see the numbers and statistics, we understand the science.

        2 votes
        1. ubergeek
          Link Parent
          It's obvious there is a problem. I remember this summer warmer than years past, and I remember warmer winters than years past. I remember we recently just had to start battling flea infestations,...

          It's obvious there is a problem. I remember this summer warmer than years past, and I remember warmer winters than years past. I remember we recently just had to start battling flea infestations, where we never had to before (Cold winters kill them all off).

          There are myriad very obvious effects. And we have the numbers. We all see the numbers. If you don't you're willfully ignorant on the topic.

          The daily impact is now very recognizable. Especially for farmers.

          2 votes