Surviving a Drought: A Farmer's Old-Fashioned Lessons
2012-09-03 20:32:29

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.(1)

In recent days the remains of what had been Hurricane Isaac moved into the American Midwest.(2)

The storm brought rain to some of the areas suffering from the country's worst drought in half a century.(3)

But the rain might have come too late to save many farmers' corn and soybean crops.(4)

Crop insurance will help reduce financial losses for most of the farmers. Crop insurance is a tool that is not available to most growers in the developing world.(5)

The federal government helps pay the cost of the coverage against natural disasters.(6)

But not every farmer in the United States chooses to buy crop insurance. Dick Thompson of Boone, Iowa, says he operates his farm the way farmers did in the past.(7)
但不是每一个在美国的农民选择购买农作物保险。布恩、 爱荷华州的迪克 · 汤普森说他运作方式农夫在过去他的农场。

DICK THOMPSON: "I'm old-fashioned, and I'm proud of it."(8)
DICK THOMPSON:"我是守旧,和自豪的"。

He uses very little chemical fertilizer, weed killers or insecticides, and does not grow genetically modified crops. He says these practices will help him survive the drought.(9)
他使用很少的化肥、 除草剂或杀虫剂,并不会不种植转基因的作物。他说: 这些做法将帮助他度过旱灾。

And he says they are already earning him more money per hectare than his neighbors who farm the modern way.(10)

Scientists are trying to understand why his practices are working. Matt Liebman has copied many of them at his research fields at Iowa State University.(11)

MATT LIEBMAN: "The reason we're doing this is because of what he's doing. So he was doing it before we did this. He was a good teacher.(12)
MATT LIEBMAN:"我们这么做的原因是因为他在做什么。所以他正在做它之前我们这么做。他是一位好老师。

And what we're doing here is trying to understand some of the scientific mechanisms that explain the patterns that he's observed on his own farm."(13)

Many Iowa farms today grow only corn and soybeans. Payments from crop insurance keep farmers in business when their crops do poorly, like in this year's drought.(14)

DICK THOMPSON: "Well, I have never bought crop insurance since we started to farm."(15)
DICK THOMPSON:"好吧,我永远不会买了作物保险自我们开始农场。"

Instead of crop insurance, he protects himself by growing other kinds of crops in addition to corn and soybeans. He raises hay and oats, along with cattle and pigs.(16)

He harvested his oat crop before the drought hit.(17)

DICK THOMPSON: "I think it's common sense. You've got diversity. And you've got some protection there. If one crop doesn't do well, maybe the other one will make up for the difference."(18)
DICK THOMPSON:"我认为普通常识。你有多样性。而你就得那里一定的保护。如果一种作物经济不好,也许另一个将弥补差异。"

That common sense used to be common practice on farms in Iowa, the heart of America's corn, or maize, production.(19)

But farmers are growing hay on only half as much land as they did twenty years ago. And oat production has fallen by almost ninety-five percent.(20)
但农民越来越干草上只有半尽可能多地为他们做了二十多年前。燕麦生产已经下降了近 95%。

Livestock production has also shrunk. Dick Thompson says he will sell some of his cows and hogs, but not all of them. They provide more than money.(21)
畜牧业生产已也有所萎缩。迪克 · 汤普森说他会出售一些他的牛和猪,但不是全部。他们提供了更多的钱。

They also provide the manure that he uses to fertilize the soil, instead of chemical fertilizers. And the manure helps the soil hold water.(22)

Iowa State University researcher Rick Cruse says that is another kind of insurance.(23)
爱荷华州立大学研究员 Rick Cruse 说,这是另一种保险。

RICK CRUSE: "It really adds to the condition of that soil that does favor crop growth, particularly under stress conditions. And that's the kind of conditions we're experiencing this year."(24)
RICK CRUSE:"它真的向添加该不会有利于农作物生长,特别是在应力条件下的土壤条件。这就是我们正在经历今年的条件的那种。

These are conditions that farmers everywhere might face more often with climate change. Matt Liebman says his research shows that all farmers can learn from Dick Thompson.(25)
这些都是各地的农民都可能更经常面对气候变化的条件。马特并说他的研究显示所有农民可以都汲取迪克 · 汤普森。

MATT LIEBMAN: "Looking towards diversity, crop-livestock integration, the careful stewardship of the soil, making the best use of every drop of rain that falls.(26)
MATT LIEBMAN:"展望多样性、 作物牲畜集成、 土壤的审慎管理,使之最充分地利用每一滴雨水落。

I mean, those things are all lessons that we should know here. And they're even more important elsewhere."(27)

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. You can read and listen to our story and watch a video about Dick Thompson's farm at I'm Jim Tedder.(28)
而这是美国之音特别英语农业报道。你可以读听听我们的故事和观看视频关于 迪克 · 汤普森的农场。我是吉姆特德。

Contributing: Steve Baragona(29)
Contributing:史蒂夫 · 巴拉戈纳

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