by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: Money Matters 6-14-16
Challenges for the pork industry still exist for the remainder of 2016. Gene Noem from Ames, Iowa is a newly elected member to the National Pork Board. Noem says the way the pork industry can keep its place in the agriculture economy is through sustainability.
“Sustainability from my prospective is not just about the environment. One of the stories I tell is if I have a farm with 3,000 pigs on it and it’s designed as a zero discharge system and permitted by the DNR and I pay the DNR to monitor my nutrient management plans and I apply manure at agronomical correct rates, that’s really a system that is an improvement from what some people think we ought to do which is put them on pasture or outdoors and let it flush whenever it rains.”
Noem says he’s ok with that sort of thing but says manure helps in other ways.
“Manure is not just something that can impact our streams and waters but it is a highly valuable input to the balance of our operation [like] corn growing and pasture fertilizations and that kind of thing.”
Noem says the important thing for the Pork Board to do is take the high road.
“I believe it is very important for us to tell our story of how we work into the farming system in Iowa, the Midwest, and the nation. Not only is manure a good resource but it’s also that kind of fertilizer that changes things differently than just NPNK.”