The National Corn Growers Association has completed an analysis of data from the National Resources Conservation Service and other sources that indicates U.S. corn growers reduced soil erosion by approximately 44% over a 20-year period through a combination of conservation tillage and other soil-saving practices.
NRCS data indicated approximately 680 million tons of soil eroded from corn land in 1982. By 2003 that number had been reduced to about 380 million tons, nearly 44% less.
"The shifts that have occurred in corn producing and erosion control practices on land in corn rotation give every indication of [becoming] more or less permanent," the study says. "The erosion reductions achieved on corn land since the late 1980s have been substantial and sustained."
Bill Chase, chairman of NCGA's Production and Stewardship Action Team, applauds NRCS for cooperating with NCGA on the study. "NRCS is willing to work with farmers, both on a national level and locally wherever possible," he says. "They have a lot of resources available to help us protect our soil and water. That's why we hope they'll receive the support they need in the 2007 farm bill."