How does your job support modern agriculture?
I believe that without modern agriculture, the world would not be the same as it is today. To give a little background on myself, I am a Quality Control Specialist in the cotton crop industry. I help perform tests that confirm the presence or absence of specific genetically modified traits in cotton. In other words, I fuel modern agriculture every day on the job. I help provide farmers with new innovation, research and scientific advancements to help improve their production and the environment.
One area that I think my job supports modern agriculture is in crop protection. CropLife America defines crop protection as the use of innovative science and technology to protect crops from productivity-robbing pests and disease. The main focus in my line of work is to develop new traits to build into cotton so that it may thrive better in a specific environment and have a potentially higher yield. For example, a specific breed of cotton can have genetically modified traits in it, which allow the farmer to use multiple herbicides in his/her field without the herbicides affecting the cotton in a negative way. I test for these genetically modified traits to ensure our customer that he/she has the traits that are expected in the cotton as it is advertised.
My company not only is using genetically modified traits to help with crop production but we also strive to affect the environment as little as possible. An example of this goes back to the use of herbicides. Now that farmers can grow cotton that allows them to spray multiple herbicides for weed control, they can help protect our environment. According to CropLife America, herbicide usage allows for no-till and conservation tillage, which conserves soil and reduces erosion by an estimated 360 billion pounds per year. As a result, this improves water quality in streams and lakes by preventing sediment deposits that can impact and disrupt aquatic ecosystems. These are just a few examples of how my job supports modern agriculture day in and day out.