Understanding Sustainable Agriculture

Understanding Sustainable Agriculture

There is an ongoing revolution in farms across developed countries. For years, many of them have been instrumental in generating food in bulk via industrial agriculture, a system that is utilized by big farms that grow similar crops every year through the use of huge amounts of fertilizers and chemical pesticides, which are detrimental to the climate, water, air, and soils.

This system destroys the same resources it relies on making it unsustainable. Many scientists and farmers today are assuming a different farming concept. Still, they are embracing a more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable farming system.

This system can accommodate different sizes of farms and generate a vast range of food, fuels, and fibers suitable for regional markets and local circumstances. It uses contemporary science-based practices that enhance productivity and profits and reduces environmental damage.

Some advocates of industrial agriculture say that its effects are the investment each individual should make to free the world. Evolving scientific evidence has demystified these sentiments indicating that a more viable model can be equally profitable while fulfilling individual needs in the long term.

Sustainable Agriculture Facts

Sustainability in agriculture is an intricate concept that comes with various aspects. They include the social, economic, and the environmental. In terms of social, it should deal with its workers in a fair manner and create a mutual relationship with the surrounding community.

When it comes to the economic, a viable farm should not only be a profitable business but one that is responsible for a thriving economy. Environmental viability in agriculture stands for the good dispensation of the natural resources and systems that farms depend on. These include,

  • Wise water management
  • Construction and maintenance of healthy soil
  • Promoting biodiversity
  • Reducing climate, water, and air pollution

There is an entire research field focused on achieving these objectives. Agroecology, for instance, is the regulation of farms as ecosystems. Through collaborating with nature as opposed to being against it, agroecological managed farms can eliminate the detrimental effects without compromising profitability and productivity.

Does Sustainable Equal to Organic?

Many people living in developed countries are not familiar with prairie strips, hairy vetch, or other principal features of viable farms, people who frequent the supermarkets are aware of organic food.

The organic farming sector began in the early 20th century and includes a system of tenable practices completely codified to meet certain certification standards by different regulatory bodies.

Farms complying with the standards are supposed to label their products as organic, a component that more food lovers are searching for. Viability and organic are synonymous and prevailing organic standards allow different practices that lack sustainability in the first place. Not all farmers utilizing variable practices qualify for organic certification.

Some are also not interested in looking for it. It’s important to note that the certified vegetables and fruits at the local supermarket have increased chances of being sustainably produced as opposed to the traditionally grown produce. By checking for the organic label you are likely to consume healthy products.

Tenable Agriculture Practices

Over the years, there have been scientific advancements that have resulted in the emergence of tenable farming practices such as, use of agriculture liquid fertilizer and adopting diversity and crop rotating. Planting different types of crops come with numerous benefits such as enhanced pest control and healthy soil.

Crop variety practices include intricate multi-year crop rotations and intercropping. Planting cover crops such as hairy vetch and clover are planted when the soils are bare. The crops come in handy in protecting and enhancing soil health, boosting soil nutrients, controlling weeds, averting erosion, and minimizing the need for herbicides.

Conventional tillage eliminates weed problems and prepares the fields for planting. This, however, can cause loss of soil using reduced till or no-till methods which incorporate inserting of seeds directly into the soil helps minimize soil erosion and enhances soil health.

Finally

Industrial agriculture keeps animals and plant production separate, with crops growing away from sufficient manure fertilizers, and animals living away from the regions where production of their feed takes place. Evidence indicates that smart crop integration and animal production is a recipe for effective and profitable farms.

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