By: Baylie Yasieniuk, University of Saskatchewan student
Hey you! Did I catch you reminiscing about the times that you or someone you know were stunting on posted property?
No matter what your answer was to this question, I would like to inform you that this criminal involvement dwindles the likely hood of sufficient agricultural production. Farmers become penalized with increasing odds of soil erosion, deterioration of crop yield, and increased susceptibility to soil-borne disease. These consequences primarily affect the farmers; however, every division that makes up the food chain is negatively impacted.
Posted property is a piece of property that has active boundary implications. Ultimately, it allows property owners to control access to their property.
Soil-borne diseases spread diversely; at any rate, that soil is relocated (Government of Saskatchewan, n.d.). The slightest amount of soil present on shoes, tires, and vehicles can ignite a soil-borne disease spread (Government of Saskatchewan, 2019). Being that the crop root and stem are most susceptible to this category of pathogens, the quality and yield of the targeted crop significantly diminish (UC Davis Global Soil Health Portal, 2018; Abawi and Widmer, 2000, p. 38). Panth, Hassler and Baysal-Gurel (2020) reported that wheat, maize, vegetable, and fruit crops encounter a 50% to 75% decline in crop yield from the exposure of a soil-borne disease (p. 1). Farmers that experience such hardship might have to question the future existence of their operation. To improve your understanding of how easy it is to spread a soil-borne disease, consider it similar to the COVID-19 virus.
Soil erosion chokes crop yield:
The unsustainable human activity of trespassing has proven to increase the possibility of soil erosion of up to one-thousand times (FAO, 2019). An illustrated example regarding an unacceptable thought process is as follows; “Buckle up, it is going to be a bumpy ride!” while you redline your vehicle across the posted property. I am confident that some of us can relate to this behaviour. Unfortunately, this action enhances the likelihood of soil degradation. Disturbing living organisms, plant litter or residues, and organic biomolecules introduce the growing concern of decreased soil quality and productivity for the farmer (Panagos et al., 2018, p. 472). The uncertainty and cost associated with not knowing whether or not this soil contains proper nutrients, water, and microorganisms is now at the discretion of the farmer (FAO, 2019). A reduction in crop yield leads to a spike in the cost of production for a future crop. Therefore, another troubling encounter for the farmer.
Unsure about how this issue affects you?
Crop yields and the cost of production contributes to the final ruling of a commodity price (Ray and Schaffer, 2010). Therefore, higher production costs and lower crop yield results in a higher market price for that good. Not only are consumers challenged with inflated prices, but they also face the risk of product availability.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2009), to fulfill the agricultural demand for the expected rise in population by 2050 requires a production increase of nearly one billion tonnes in cereal crops. This burden that weighs on farming operations spikes when trespassing occurs. Consequently, this unlawful act shifts focus to a much bigger picture; world hunger. Insufficient supply of products stimulates unease world wide. With a rising rate in the human population, the only way to prevent world hunger is through increased productivity. The feasibility of achieving higher productivity levels fades with trespassing. As a society, we need to avoid trespassing to avoid world hunger.
My name is Baylie Yasieniuk, a student in the College of Agriculture and Bio-resources at the University of Saskatchewan. I am currently pursuing my second and final year of studies in the Agribusiness Diploma program. Although my program studies are coming to an end, my desire to learn about the agriculture industry remains. A major factor influencing my passion for agriculture involves my upbringing, which was influenced by my family’s ranch. Our operation is located on the only Biosphere Reserve in Saskatchewan, near the small town of Hafford. Due to this, my family continues to integrate sustainable practices throughout day-to-day operations. This experience is a leading factor in my growing passion for the agriculture industry.