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Home > Feature Articles > Agriculture & Organic Production

Sustainable Conservation Encourages the Adoption of Sustainable Farming Practices

Sustainable Conservation promotes the adoption of innovative farming practices so that farmers can protect the environment, boost their bottom lines and keep their land.

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california precipitation landscape and solar solutions Most days, California's Central Valley produces some of the worse air quality in the nation.

"One of six children in Fresno has asthma because of the air pollution there," according to Ashley Boren of San Francisco environmental group Sustainable Conservation.

Sustainable Conservation looked at the San Joaquin's pollution problem, inversion layer, large number of cars, and the amount of agricultural dust floating from the fields.

The environmental movement wanted to find a way to cut dust. Their answer was found in corn. The Crowells grow it themselves, but instead of plowing the field back to bare dirt at the end of a season, they leave the corn residue on the ground.

It's not a new method of farming, but it's new in California. It offers distinct advantages. By leaving last year's crop in the ground, they use less fuel, create less pollution, less dust, while leaving more nutrients.

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Conservation promotes the adoption of innovative farming practices so that farmers can protect the environment, boost their bottom lines and keep their land.
  • Biofuels Project advances the production and use of renewable, environmentally friendly fuels as alternatives to petroleum in California. These fuels significantly reduce air and water pollution, and could greatly enhance California's economic health by creating a new, agriculture-based energy industry.
  • Conservation Tillage is a farming technique that can save farmers money, improve water quality and reduce dust and diesel emissions that contribute to the severe problem of air pollution in California's Central Valley.
  • Dairies Project facilitates the widespread adoption of innovative agricultural technology. We find solutions that benefit both farm economics and the environment.
More significant, this success has triggered action by other California dairy farmers. 80,000 acres of land have been exposed to the technique so far.

Boren: "What gives me hope is that there are solutions to these problems - that we can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment."

Sustainability occurs in two tiers. One preserves the environment; the other maintains a family way of life.

Sustainable Conservation's Executive Director Ashley Boren received the prestigious 2007 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award which honors Ashley's unwavering commitment to innovative, balanced problem-solving to address critical environmental problems facing California.

Sustainable Conservation engages businesses and private landowners in advancing the stewardship of our land and water in partnership with the environmental community.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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| sustainable agriculture | air quality | Biofuels | farming | asthma |

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