Jul. 31, 2014
Howard Buffett, a conservationist, farmer, philanthropist and son of billionaire Warren Buffett, said the U.S. government needs to incentivize farmers to adopt more conservation practices, particularly through research and development.
“We are a leader in the world of many things,” but the U.S. “falls short” in conservation practices, Buffett said at the U.S. Grains Council annual board meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, this week.
He said, “Farmers are either going to adapt and become more innovative in conservation approaches, or we will be forced to do things that don’t work for us.”
Buffett used the government’s numerical limits on nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay water system as an example.
“Either we look like Chesapeake Bay, where we’re told how to farm and what to do…or we’re able to define our own future,” he said.
He also recognized agricultural biotechnology and the development of genetically modified crops (GMOs), as a technology that benefits conservation and environmental goals.
Buffett, who farms in Illinois and Nebraska, said when it comes to GMOs, “The environmental groups picked a fight and lost.”