Letter to the editor: Agriculture is more complex

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to Margaret Kramar’s recent letter about the proposed solar site near Midland Junction. While I appreciate the need for renewable energy, several oversights in her arguments warrant discussion.

First, the assertion that land used for corn production doesn’t contribute to the human food supply is deceptive. Corn, even as animal feed, is integral to our food system. Disregarding its importance overlooks the complexity of our agricultural system.

Additionally, the claim of soil being “nuked” ignores the reality of modern farming practices. Many farmers employ integrated pest management and soil conservation techniques, making Kramar’s blanket statement an inaccurate representation of the diverse farming practices across Douglas County.

Agricultural practices are governed by stringent regulations that safeguard water quality. The revised 24(c) label for atrazine-containing herbicides prohibits its application on milo or corn stubble. This change underscores the regulatory efforts to balance agriculture and environmental protection. Claiming that farmers indiscriminately contaminate water oversimplifies the complex interplay of regulatory frameworks and environmental stewardship.

Moreover, implying that solar development allows land to “heal” is an oversimplification. Converting farmland to solar farms impacts food security, land use, local ecosystems and livelihoods. We must consider these factors and the economic effects on farmers and communities.

Embracing renewable energy requires a strategic, nuanced approach, considering economic, environmental and social factors. Collaborative solutions should balance energy and food sustainability, respecting the cyclical nature of agriculture. Informed decisions demand more than taking a drive to make superficial observations of farmlands that are dormant in the winter.

Dawn Huddleston,



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