Some thoughts on my recent fact-finding field trip to Arkansas
One of the privileges of working in farming is the opportunity to go and look over the fence. In this instance the fence is over the pond and I have been linking up with Walmart colleagues from around the world to examine differing farming practices. We looked round a blueberry farm and some of the work being undertaken by the University of Arkansas.
One reflection is that we in the UK tend to have a view about regulation in that we’re the most affected. I have to say that this was challenged by one of the farms we visited. This had an extensive programme to deal with phosphate run off into the local water courses. Nitrate in fresh water is being legislated with farmers investing to comply with the regulations.
Poultry farms in Arkansas have to store their manures in roofed areas as part of the nitrates management. However, the challenge of phosphate in fresh water hasn’t received as much attention in the UK but it was obvious that farming in the US was already having to amend practices as a consequence.