High crop prices a threat to nature? (Star Tribune)
The Land and Land Use topic that we are learning about in class talks about how the land has different uses. The farmers who own the land in this article have a tough decision on how to use it. It is currently being used for natural habitat but will bring in more fortune as farmland. This land is the type of land that is most valuable for natural habitat growth. The soil type also would help crop growth which would bring in more money for the farmers.
This article is about local farmers that have a tough decision to make now days. With seed rates rising but the rate they get paid to keep their land natural habit is staying the same. In the article it says “The government pays him about $90 per acre to keep it that way. But today, Thomforde said, he could rent the land for about $200 per acre. If he farms it himself, he can clear $300 per acre at current prices.”(JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY, Star Tribune) This means by turning the natural habitat part of their lands into farmland they can make at least twice as much what the government is paying them. Natural habit on farmers land is home to much wildlife and without a home the wildlife that lives there will soon die-off as stated in the article “In the following years, millions more acres in Minnesota, North and South Dakota -- critical prairie and wetland habitat for a fourth of the nation's migratory birds -- may also fall to the plow as farmers choose between leaving it to nature or converting it to cash crops. Many predict that nature will be the loser.”(JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY, Star Tribune) Even our water sources will be affected by these choices “Nationally, between 2004 and 2007, CRP lands retained 1.86 billion pounds of nitrogen, 420 million pounds of phosphorus and 1.8 billion tons of soil -- much of which would have found its way into the Mississippi River and the so-called dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It also...