Darrel Mosel: Farmers will Find Production Benefits with Buffers

SC Times:

As a farmer who has a drainage ditch, a small creek and larger creek flowing through my land, I know that when there isn’t a buffer between the crop field and the streambank, runoff takes soil and any chemicals along for the ride right over the edge. I have buffers that range from 50 to 120 feet wide. That leaves me plenty of room to raise crops on the rest of my land. And it makes a difference — the stream banks are stable, and I know my soil and inputs are staying where they belong.

But upstream and downstream, people are still trying to farm to the edge, and when heavy rains come, it’s a disaster. Creeks turn chocolate, and the banks cave in. This type of farm run-off is a major contributor to our state’s water pollution problems. It’s also an incredible waste of seed, fertilizer and chemicals.

The intended benefits of shoreline buffers that is well described by a practicing farmer.