Monday, December 15, 2008

The Mississippi River Partnership Project

Monsanto and a host of environmental groups are doing something to stem nutrient and sediment movement in the Mississippi River Basin. This page has the details. And hat-tip to Tom Redick and the ABA Ag Management Group listserve for bringing this to my attention.

Interestingly, I suspect that Monsanto's role is one of utilizing technological advances to reduce the environmental costs placed on natural resources (or us) by our current production methods. And I suspect the pressure put on production by informed consumers, the environmental movement, or both, is spurring this horse on. I tend to think that an even better set of spurs would be meaningful environmental regulation that requires this sort of reduction without prescribing the manner in which those reductions are achieved. In this regard, our current regime of "best management practices" that is common to the ag sector (though not implemented in the nonpoint source arena) is perhaps not as well suited to generating this sort of advance.

For an interesting take on our relation to the soil and the Drake Law School's Agricultural Law Center's renewed attention to the issue, see Neil Hamilton, Feeding our Green Future: Legal Responsibilities and Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure, 13 Drake Journal of Ag. Law 377 (2008)


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