I had a quick sale today. I licensed this photo of the contoured strip cropping found on a farm near Geraldine, Montana on the cover of a new book from author David R. Montgomery called “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” which is published by W. W. Norton & Company. It is due to hit book stores in May of 2017.
Montgomery also wrote the books Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon.
Not lost on me was the fact that the publisher selected one of my agriculture photos that featured a soil conservation practice known as “strip cropping” (or “strip farming”). Having grown up on a very hilly farm myself I was well acquainted with the benefits of strip cropping. Strip cropping is a method by which cultivated fields are partitioned into long, narrow strips to prevent soil erosion. When used with a sound crop rotation system both can go a long way to preserve soil on hill farmland.
In the Great Plains of Montana there isn’t much need to use strip cropping. This field in the rolling foothills of the Highwood Mountains is about the only example of strip cropping I’ve seen in these parts. And as luck would have it on the day I drove by conditions were perfect to make this photo.
I’ll have a couple copies of the book when they are ready to give away on my Facebook page some time in early 2Q-2017.