Farmers Willing to Adapt Farming Practices for Regulators

By Laurie Greene, Editor


With increased scrutiny of the agriculture industry’s use of resources, growers must be proactive about their farming practices, and according to Roger Isom, president and ceo of Western Agricultural Processors Association, farmers are willing to adapt.

Isom noted how receptive growers are to improving their farming techniques. “One of the best examples I have for conservation management practices addresses air quality. Air quality regulators say we’ve got to put water on the back of tillage disks to suppress dust and to schedule no-farming days,” he said. “Wait a minute,” he added, “let’s get in a room and talk about what you want to do! You want to lower emissions? Well, farmers can combine practices and thereby lower emissions and save fuel and labor. And, we’ll do it!”

Isom said farmers appreciate incentive programs. “If I can get some money to help pay for it,” said Isom, “I’ll do it much sooner. There is nobody out there who doesn’t want a new tractor or truck to meet the mandated specifications; but if you provide some help, they will do it much sooner.”

“Growers and consumers each want the same things—a healthy environment and good produce,” he said. “You just have to sit down together and find solutions. The last thing we want is a food recall. Again, if we sit down in a room with scientists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and develop agricultural guidance specific to each crop, farmers will be more amenable to adapt recommendations into practice,” Isom said.