SEGMENT: CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS

Dr. Edward Runge>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 5

SEGMENT: CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS,

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CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS
Hybrid corn came in the late 1930s. Henry Wallace was a pioneer. His father sold Pioneer corn. 1948 was the first year for one hundred bushels a year. Average was sixty. Next era was fertility era (late 1940s). Nitrogen factories used chemicals from the war for agriculture. Ammonium nitrate and ammonia gas were available. By the late 1950s, you could spray the weeds with 2-4D and DDT and they died. Then went to Treflan and Atrozine, an herbicide. Pest control came along too, for corn borer, fungi. Then into biotech era. Had cotton borer. BT Cotton had bacillus incorporated into it. Killed the borer when he ate it. Round-Up-resistant soybean (after 1975) can be sprayed without plant dying, but weeds die. Now we are getting roundup-resistant weeds. In 1980, biotech materials started, sold first in 1995, when BT cottons came out. Changes included no longer having to plow the fields, had to have rotations. Now you can go no-till, let weeds grow, then spray them, helping to control erosion. Also saves energy and money. All soils are not good for no-till. Explains variables for no-till for infiltration rate, erosion.