Sustainability is at the forefront of modem agriculture. Sustainable agriculture practices seek to produce food, fibers, building materials, and medicines without compromising the environment. Conventional faming techniques impact the environment destructively, as through such activities as excess tilling, which can erode and destroy viable agricultural land.
What are sustainable farming practices?
Aspects of sustainability include social responsibility, the economic security of the farm, and proper management of waste streams
Because conventional tilling erodes soil at twice the rate that soil is able to rebuild itself, a movement to reduce tillage has spread worldwide. Experts encourage farmers to adopt better management practices (BMPs) to improve stainability, such as by reducing tillage and planting cover crops. Cover cropping through winter months reduces the loss of beneficial microorganisms and provides a rich organic fertilizer in the spring.
Reducing dependency on chemical-based fertilizers protects the environment and the economic independence of farmers. Chemical nitrate fertilizers wash into lakes and streams where they poison wildlife and drinking water. Waste streams from animal production, cover crops, and other available biomass can when handled strategically, be utilized as organic resources for crop fields.
The benefits of good water management speak to the advantages of sustainable agriculture. Farmers capture rainwater and runoff, thereby conserving ground water and reducing stress on crops during periods of drought.
Drip-line and trickle irrigation reduce water consumption. Munching retains moisture in the soil that would otherwise evaporate if left bare. Farmers save money, protect clean drinking water, and make use of localized resources.
Pesticides and Herbicides
Sustainable agriculture seeks to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides on commercial fields. These chemicals are harmful to soil biota, wildlife, and human beings. While excess tillage leads to soil compaction and weed problems cover cropping and winter mulch systems reduce weeds organically while building soil and making use of waste streams.