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Conservation for the bottom line


EAST LANSING, MI. – In the Western Lake Erie Basin, the Saginaw Bay and other watersheds of Michigan, effects of high levels of dissolved nutrients and pesticides in water have become a concern. Agriculture’s part in this concern is leading to innovation across the industry.

The adoption of conservation practices has often been looked upon as a loss for farmers. It requires the removal of land from production or more time managing the land. What if farmers shifted their thinking about conservation practices and saw them as tools for profit instead of a burden? This is the innovative take that the Hasenick Brothers have when they look at the management of their fields.

When farmers and consultants are looking for ways to make practices more sustainable, environmentally and economically, precision agriculture has become a tool to do just that. Collecting data about a field in a precise way focuses decisions about population, chemical need, and farming the ground. Precision agriculture can lead to improvements not only in environmental impacts, but also the bottom line.

Applying precision agriculture to field decision making can open up a farmer to in-field and edge-of-field practices like prairie strips, field boarders, wind breaks, water ways and cover crops.

I recently spoke with Marc Hasenick, a farmer in Jackson County, about how he is exploring the use of conservation practices to increase soil heath, support pollinators and build his bottom line. If you would like to hear more from Hasenick about prairie strips, conservation and water-quality, listen to “In the Weeds: Conservation for the bottom line” on the Michigan Field Crops podcast channel. This new “In the Weeds” series explores water quality farming. You will hear from farmers, agribusiness and Michigan State University Extension educators. 

The Michigan Field Crops podcast is available on Spotify, iTunes and embedded on the Field Crops Team website. New podcasts will be posted every week for this series. To receive notification on podcast posts, please subscribe to our channel: Michigan Field Crops (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/michigan-field-crops/id1461704431?ign-mpt=uo%3D4).