When Farmers Shut Off The Machinery Analysis

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Chapter 6, “When Farmers Shut Off the Machinery”, by Brian A. Devore, is about farmers who have resulted in using what they see on their own farm and to observe changes to decide what is best rather than jumping to conclusions and possibly trying to use the newest silver-bullet fix. Many different things approaches were used in the chapter. David Podoll keeps track of the weeds near his farm. Unlike most farmers who would see these weeds and spray them, Podoll keeps them as the weeds are a home for the larvae of the Painted Lady butterfly. The butterfly larvae will feed on the weeds and naturally keep the weed population in check. But David’s biggest point was that you just need to observe your land and watch the changes, and sometimes that …show more content…
Frank Morton uses a similar observing approach on his farm and garden. When looking at his garden, Frank noticed many pests, but he also noticed most of the time there were predators feeding on the pests. To him, pests were a good thing because that meant there would be predators to keep the pests population in check. Other farmers like Mike and Jennifer Rupprecht, have begun observing birds on their farm to use as a monitoring tool. But the goal of the chapter was that sometimes just going out and observing your land is the most powerful and effective thing you can do. Not spraying for pests, not spraying nitrates for “insurance” reasons, simply turning off the tractor and watching. You will then notice things that are unnatural as well as things that you may think are a nuisance, but in reality, they don’t affect your farm at …show more content…
DeVore, is an article that involves three different farmers that are taking different steps in their farming techniques in order to preserve the land for a longer period of time, and also to keep the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico from growing larger. Mike Natvig, Dan Specht, and the Fagerlands are the three farmers who are followed throughout the article. Mike Natvig, is a farmer in northeast Iowa has done a number of different things to better his land. The first thing he did was plant 10 acres of native prairie on his land back in 1995, and this land now holds around 45 different species of plants. On his 400-acre land, he raises hogs, corn, soybeans, and cattle. His methods are nontraditional as he uses a different rotating system that involves small grains and forage plants. He also moves his livestock in a way that helps the soil and better spreads manure on the land. These factors help keep the soil fertile without chemicals and also helps prevent soil erosion. Dan Specht, another Iowa farmer of northeast Iowa, is also concerned about the dangerous contaminants that are entering the water and is taking measures into his own hands to help prevent it. Similar to Natvig from before, Specht also raises cattle on his land and uses a similar rotating method to preserve the land. Another practice he has started is to plant rye in the fall after harvest that will overpower the weeds in the spring. In doing this, the rye

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