6 results for tag: farming


Using Soil to Slow Climate Change

The economic demands on farmers and ranchers to maximize production on their land can inadvertently lead to damaging the soil. Unhealthy soil stores less carbon and depends on an increased use of chemicals and fertilizers which in turn can increase pollution and loss of soil to erosion. The good news is that the stewardship and determination of today’s agricultural producers can help solve these problems. And, under the 2020 Oregon Climate Action Plan, there is an opportunity right now to set ambitious new goals to address soil health and combat climate change.   Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration Soil health is a term used to describe a ...

On the road, learning together

This summer, I have the privilege of working with Karen Lewotsky, Rural Partnerships Director, on numerous water related projects.

Whistleblower videos reveal helicopter spraying workers with weed killers

Have you seen the article and video posted at the Oregonian? It's a terrifying video, one of over 200 that have been recorded showing workers being completely doused in chemicals. "Nothing is more worrisome than the number of times the helicopter sprays over workers. Depending on the chemicals used, workers aren't allowed to enter spray sites for up to 48 hours. Directly spraying workers is illegal. It's also illegal to allow chemicals to drift onto workers." Pesticide drift has sickened Oregonians and damaged neighboring crops. There are pesticides in finished drinking water, and in streams impacting threatened and endangered native fish. We ...

The Fertilizer Savings Bill: A Win-Win for Farms and Water

The Problem:  Fertilizer Waste: Despite farmers being cost conscious, most of the fertilizer that farmers and land managers apply to crops is wasted. At least 30-40% of the fertilizer applied to most major U.S. crops simply washes away as runoff or leaches into our water supply. Farmers and other land managers are losing money. Wasted Fertilizer Turns into Water Pollution: More than 70% of Oregonians get some of their drinking water f om groundwater sources, and 700,000 (23%) of Oregonians rely on private wells as their primary source of water. Yet in many parts of the state, Oregon’s ...

Pesticide Stewardship Program

Just over a year ago, Oregon established a Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP) Program that helps to ensure Oregon’s water quality through pesticide monitoring, training and tools for farmers to help reduce the amount of pesticide running off into our streams and rivers, and community collection events for safe disposal of pesticides. The PSP Program is a uniquely collaborative, Oregon solution to reduce unsafe levels of pesticides in our rivers, lakes and streams. Voluntary pesticide stewardship partnerships have helped avoid the need for a regulatory approach in some areas, providing more flexibility and control to land managers, and ...

Making Water Work

Water is one of Oregon’s most valuable resources. And increasingly, it’s becoming one of its most threatened. Summertime water rights are maxed out in many areas of the state, impacting business development, agricultural production and native fish, with climate change and population growth predicted to further stress Oregon’s water supplies in the future. Oregon Environmental Council interviewed growers and irrigation experts about ways to advance water efficiency in agriculture—which uses 79% of the state's water withdrawals—while strengthening Oregon's agriculture sector. Our recommendations are included in the report, Making Water ...