The Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service released a major report Tuesday that illustrates how agricultural productivity has increased while farming’s impact on the environment has shrunk.
USDA released the 2007 National Resources Inventory (NRI) for Non-Federal Lands at an event marking the 75th Anniversary of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report is science-based and relies on actual farm surveys.
One key finding of the NRI: soil erosion on cropland declined by more than 40 percent during the past 25 years, while more than one-third of all development of U.S. land occurred during the same period.
“The NRI results are significant because they provide a scientifically based snapshot of the nation’s natural resources and the ability to track trends in natural resource use and condition,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
“After scanning the massive NRI survey results, another very clear message has emerged: American agriculture is producing more with less,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Bob Stallman. “After looking over the NRI and the latest USDA productivity figures it becomes apparent that the shrinking environmental footprint of food and fiber production in the United States is the envy of the world.”