Program Success: Agriculture & Environmentalism Working Hand In Hand

OKLAHOMA - Gov. Brad Henry last week proclaimed that the new Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program marked “a historic day for Oklahoma.” An Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission member said it is “perhaps the greatest water quality success story in Oklahoma’s 100 years of statehood.”
calendar icon 4 May 2007
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We in the poultry industry couldn’t agree more.

The $20.6 million agreement, between the State of Oklahoma and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is designed to create vegetative “buffer” zones along scenic rivers, thus helping the nutrients to stay in the soil and out of the water.

The program uses a combination of ingenuity and common sense to arrive at an old-fashioned concept for protecting our environment – land conservation practices.

Land conservation has taken on many forms, dating back to Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl days. In this instance, streamside land will be converted to grasses, forage, shrubs, trees and other vegetation. This creates a “buffer” – essentially a vegetation zone that separates agriculture from the waterways. This limits access to stream by livestock both livestock and other nutrients, whether the source is commercial fertilizer, storm water, animal manure or anything else. Perhaps more significantly, it helps eliminate soil erosion, which is a major contributor to nutrient runoff.

Several poultry companies in our region helped seed the program by pledging more than $1 million to the OSRC, which used the money to fund the local match. We’re proud to be part of it, and are thrilled that the money has been used to attract federal funding for the implementation of workable, practical solutions.

Source: CushingDailyCitizen
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