With some incredibly dangerous overspending by our President and the federal Congress, I understand the need for some budget cutting. While Europe teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, we don’t need the U.S. to do the same.
However, there are some cuts that really leave you scratching your head. The USDA lab at Coshocton, Ohio, provides one of those moments. (See story here.)
With all the talk by our political leaders to be more conservation minded, you have to be left wondering why the home of some of the longest continuous no-till plots was targeted for closure. You would think that research on no-till and these trial sites are important to helping farmers understand how to incorporate no-till practices into their operation — and recognize the benefits.
The news of the closure was no surprise. The station was targeted likely even during the Bush administration, and was among nearly 200 cuts announced. But it was still upsetting to Bill Haddad, a consultant who has long lobbied for no-till practices since he learned about them in 1969.
“I’m not sure why on God’s green Earth they chose that facility to close when there are other things that could have been closed that wouldn’t be missed,” he told the Times Recorder of Zanesville, Ohio.
We’ve heard there will be an effort to see if those long-term no-till plots can be held intact and some research continued there. At the very least, let’s hope those fields end up in the hands of a committed no-tiller. It would be downright criminal if they weren’t.