Earth Day is a time to celebrate our planet and take action to protect it. As dairy farmers we want you to see how we implement sustainable farming practices. A priority for us has always been water conservation, especially since our farm is situated alongside the Crawfish River.
Over the past few days, we received several inches of rain, causing the river to flood its banks and inundate our fields. In the past century, the number of extreme single-day precipitation events has increased at a rate of 0.5% per decade. For plant roots to grow, they need equal amounts of air and water in the soil.
While we can't control Mother Nature, we can use conservation practices to help protect the land and water quality. One such practice is the implementation of riparian buffers in areas where our land meets the river and wetland areas. These buffers contain a combination of trees, shrubs, and native perennial plants that protect water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and reduce erosion.
Here are four ways grass waterways and riparian buffers help us protect the environment:
- Water Quality Protection: Riparian buffers filter contaminants and sediment from water runoff before they enter waterways.
- Erosion Control: Waterways and buffers stabilize the riverbank and prevent erosion. Having water drain through waterways allows it to be filtered before flowing into the river.
- Habitat Protection: Vegetative buffers provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. These areas support a diverse array of wildlife, including birds, pollinators and mammals.
- Climate Resilience: Buffers help to lower the impact of flooding and drought. These vegetated buffers absorb and hold water during periods of heavy rainfall and release it slowly during dry periods. Native perennial plants that have established over several years have developed deep root systems and can sequester carbon.
As dairy farmers, we take pride in our role as stewards of the land and are committed to preserving the natural resources on which we depend. Thank you for joining us in celebrating Earth Day and supporting sustainable agriculture practices.