We should be paying farmers to do the right thing. Conservation needs to be viewed as a crop since incentives will be key to water quality and GHG reduction efforts. But if the ultimate goal is clean water and agriculture productivity, then the ag lobby is going to have to fight hard and loud for conservation funding.
A huge gulf exists in farmer attitudes toward science. Growers clearly accept the scientific evidence that modified food is safe while rejecting the scientific evidence that climate change is real and caused by human activity. And this chasm is driven by simple economics. One finding makes farmers money, but the other doesn't -- yet.