Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Best management practice. This term is charged with meaning and assumptions. The values affecting the term and its definition are not universal for all farmers, environmental stewards, resource-industries, agricultural industries, government bureaus, politicians and the public. And how we develop the philosophy governing the concept of best management practices will have significantly different impacts on the environment, the public at large and the agricultural community. Best for what, who, where, and when? Management in what sense? For what use and choice of inputs? For what level of farming skill, timing of operations, chemical use, economic success target, information utilization, environmental balancing, bio-control? And what constitutes a practice? Does it include choice of tractor and implement combination, or regulation of tire pressures, or specific chemical application methods, amounts, strategies? Use of global positioning, satellite imagery, precision application, soil testing, tillage reduction, deep ripping, fallowing, reforestation? What is the parity between environmental impacts of humans, domesticated animals and wildlife? Perhaps obviously, all these are legitimate considerations, but especially the choice of philosophy that is established as the root of our decision tree. We explore several selected emerging environmental and agricultural technologies and philosophies and consider some of their scientific and practical implications as we seek to employ them to direct development of land management at the dawn of the new millennium.