USDA Celebrates & Benefits of Intercropping

USDA Celebrates & Benefits of Intercropping

USDA Celebrates & Benefits of Intercropping plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

On May 15, 1862, then President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill that created the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 people have held the title of Ag Secretary including current secretary Tom Vilsack.

VILSACK: President Lincoln understood the importance of agricultures to America’s success and today our values as a country are still rooted in our rural communities. For decades USDA has worked hard to fulfill Lincoln’s vision and over the past 3 1/2 years we’ve furthered our commitment to rural America. But we know there’s still much more work to be done. So as we look back over 150 years of accomplishments, we are also looking ahead. I’m proud of what the Department of Agriculture has accomplished over the past 150 years and I’m excited for our future.

It’s not a new idea but it is getting some new looks. Intercropping. Mixing different crops in the same field and according to Randy Radoicich a California farmer who mixes camelina between the rows of his vineyard, more emphasis should be placed on intercropping.

RADIOCICH: You’ve got ground there that’s not being utilized and utilize that ground as intercrop takes a lot of the profit pressure off of putting in a whole field of this and use it as a rotation. This camelina seems to be the perfect thing. It sits out there and does it’s thing until you are ready.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

When the U.S. Department of Labor withdrew its widely criticized proposed rule that would have restricted children under the age of sixteen from doing regular farm chores it was seen as a victory for the ag industry and family farms in America. Now, to prove that it was a victory well deserved, the agriculture community needs to invest even more time than it already does to making sure the next generation of farmers are safe while still allowing them to be farm kids doing what farm kids do. Many extension services and non-profit organizations provide resources and training to individuals and communities on farm safety. Be sure to make use of it. Most of us from rural communities can regale listeners with stories of growing up on a farm or holding down a summer job working on a farm, and a lot of what we experienced then still rings true for farm kids today. But there’s also a lot that goes on on farms today that’s far different due to advanced technologies, tools, and equipment, calling for more advanced safety practices. One week of every year is dedicated nationally to farm safety, lets make it fifty-two. Let’s prove we deserve the win.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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