Newer technologies are providing ways to reclaim valuable crops at a time when we want to maximize crop yield in an environment that’s increasingly hostile to it.
Harvested crops often get washed away by river runoff or runoff from farms. The purplish-colored sludge in a tractor’s rear axle or the silage pile in a meatpacker’s cattle feed tank is toxic waste products from the converting energy required to grow the produce. But it’s like gold in reverse: these polluting toxins are becoming valuable environmental assets.
How To Do It: Consider crop rotations, which help minimize erosion, save farmers money and give the world a break. Plant more organic materials, such as grasses, before plowing your field.
If you are a farmer, you can also make your own biochar by gradually burning liquid manure and non-organic plant matter from your farm, like compost and shredded paper, and adding water and nutrients to the material. It’s not necessarily the best way to create this concrete soil conditioner, but if you have access to a large flat surface, then it can be a beneficial way to make good soil look like grass. Research shows that we need to replace fossil fuel emissions created by agriculture with renewable energy sources.Biochar is also on the fence with the organic watchdog groups, because it’s widely distributed and compostable, but it’s a little too odorous to be considered a true green crop.