The world celebrates Earth Day once a year, but U.S. pork producers work daily to preserve and protect the earth’s natural resources, according to the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

“Many of the production practices used by the more than 8,000 Iowa pork operations today are designed to improve the environment,” says IPPA. Manure management plans, soil and water conservation practices, air quality strategies and wildlife habitat management are all critical components of a pork producer’s farming enterprise.

“It is important to me to be able to play a role in helping preserve and improve our environment,” says pork producer Roger Nath, from Hartley, Iowa, winner of a national 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award. “Stewardship is about giving back and the love of the land and the outdoors. I hope each following generation has an opportunity to experience all that I enjoy.”

Today, U.S. pork producers employ many different strategies for manure storage and application to minimize the impact on air and water quality. Also vast majority of pork producers are diversified farmers and also raise crops. Most producers inject liquid manure from hog barns directly into the cropland or land-apply it and then incorporate the nutrients into the soil in order to conserve the nutrients and improve soil quality. “These practices also virtually eliminate runoff into streams and waterways. An added benefit is a reduction of odor during and after nutrient application,” IPPA points out.

By regularly attending training and certification programs offered by the state and national pork producer associations and land-grant universities and others, pork producers stay abreast of the latest environmental protection methods.

“Farmers are the original environmentalists and have been practicing good conservation for generations,” IPPA contends. “Earth Day may be a one-day celebration for society, but for pork producers, protecting the environment is a year-round event.”

Source: IPPA