Hungry for Truth SD Sustainable Soybeans

Growing Sustainable Soybeans on Earth Day and Every Day

Though farmers may not be the first people who come to mind when you think of environmentalists, they are focused on making continuous improvements to the soil and water on Earth Day and every day. Leaving their land in better condition for future generations is part of growing healthy and safe food. It’s especially important in South Dakota where 98 percent of farms are still family owned and approximately 2,500 farms have been in the same family for more than 100 years.

In celebration of Earth Day, we’re digging into facts behind how one of our state’s top crops is grown. While soybeans may not be regularly served on your dinner table, they are fed to the pigs, turkeys, chickens and cows many of us love to eat. They can also be transformed into cooking oil and other ingredients like lecithin, which binds together your favorite chocolate treats.

Over the past 30 years, farmers have adopted precision technology, reduced tillage, rotated crops, planted cover crops and more to grow many crops with less impact on the environment. Let’s look at some of the spectacular stats for soybeans:

44 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

33 percent decrease in water used for irrigation.

47 percent decrease in soil loss.

35 percent decrease in energy used.

These improvements are wins for all of us who enjoy eating healthy and sustainable food on Earth Day and every day. Read the full ag sustainability report for more information.

Want to see farm practices in action? Here are a few stories from local farmers:

Cover Crops Boost Sustainability on the Johnson Family Farm

Millennial Farmer Goes High-Tech For Sustainability

Sustainable Farm Practices Support Outdoor Adventures on Casper Family Farm