Charles Benbrook (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 08:03:36 -0800
The National Association of Wheat Growers Foundation, with the help of a
large group of extension experts from wheat growing states, has put out an
excellent operating manual entitled "Best Management Practices for Wheat:
A Guide to Profitable and Environmentally Sound Production".
Anyone growing wheat, or interested in ag-water quality issues
in wheat growing areas should get a copy. To do so contact the NAWG Found.
in Washington, D.C. at 202-547-7800.
I find the discussion of erosion control and nutrient management to
be straightforward and to the point. They have used a very useful and
technically sound approach in discussing runoff problems, focusing on
factors that effect detachment, transport, and deposition.
The BMPs recomended also seem to be complete and unapologetic.
My only criticism and disappointment is the reports weak treatment
of soil-borne pathogens and diseases, their enomorous impact on productivity,
and microbial biocontrol. In a "Second addition" in a few years, I hope they
will draw more heavily on Jim Cook et all's excellent work on the control
of soil borne pathogens through management; the role of VAM in nutrient uptake
efficiency and microbial biocontrol; the need to reduce pesticide use and
change tillage practices to give VAM a chance; and other cutting edge issues
that arise at the root-soil-microorganism interface.
But a job well done. I hope otyher major commodity groups will
consider doing the same, since this sort of practical field guide will
establish a useful and credible baseline as farmers are pressed to do more
to protect water quality.