There is a huge increment of population day by day within the world. So, food demand also increases. Then agricultural production should increase greatly. For that, people use high yielding varieties, mono cropping, synthetic substances like harmful things. When people achieving these goals, environment is deteriorating due to greenhouse gas emission, pollution, fossil fuels etc. Sustainable agriculture came to use as a solution for above problems. Sustainable agriculture produces foods by using natural resources at the present to full fill human needs by conserving those for the future generation. In today’s farming world this sustainable farming has become a main topic which considers by most of the farmers.
There are some key practices that we are following under this sustainable farming. Today we are going to focus on some of these practices.
What are these sustainable Agriculture Practices?
Crop rotation continued by farmers for centuries. This is the practice of changing the crops grown in one piece of land from time to time. The crops are growing according to a patter in separated land areas. It can avoid nutrient depletion and maintain the soil healthy. After planted legumes people grow other crops like vegetables. It is the common crop rotation. It is help to prevent diseases. Also, after a cropping season can go for a fallow period or can grow cover crop and after that farmer can grow their main crop.
In here, grow plants from different varieties in the same land. Because of the genetic diversity crops grow strongly and vigorously. Then farmer can easily maintain the cultivation with less usage of pesticides.
Beneficial animals / IPM
There are animals who are beneficial to cultivation. They help to eliminate pests from the cultivation and save farmer’s money. When the crop diversity is in the cultivation different types of beneficial animals come to the cultivation. So, they act as predators for harmful pests. Controlling pests by using natural predators save farmers economy by reducing the chemical cost. Also, it is good for the soil health. Planting plants which can attract beneficial animals in the cultivation also help to control pest in the field.
Make use of renewable energy sources
Renewable energy sources are solar, hydro power, wind etc. Hydro power can produce by running water. Solar power can get from a solar panel for various purposes. From those methods, can produce electricity. Farmers can use those energy sources to fulfill their needs like supply current to fences, running heaters and water pumps. Bio diesel can use for vehicles. If farmer can produce more electricity than need to the farm, he can sell them and earn extra income.
Avoid soil erosion
Plowing, tilling lands contribute to reduce the erosion. Also, cover crops, manure, fertilizer help to improve soil. They can reduce the soil erosion. For that, mulching also important.
Sell locally/save transportation cost
When transporting harvest lot of fossil fuels are burnt. It contributes to the climatic changes due to greenhouse gas emission. Selling products in local markets is the solution for this emission. Also, food don’t need much packing. It remains the local money in local economy. Producer can directly exchange with customer. Also, when reducing the transport distance crop losses or post-harvest losses can reduce.
Animals take out of barns and take them to pastures. Then feed cost reduces and manure build up also becomes less. Animal can eat various types of pastures and get several nutrients. Here the animals supply fertilizer to lands by grazing. But when animals are everyday in the same patch, the soil can be eroded due to the trampled of soil from their hooves. Therefore, should practice rotational grazing method.
Better water management
Crops should select according to the availability of water, adoptability to the climate in the region and so on. Crops which have high water demand not suit for dry zone. Farmer can build rain water harvesting system to collect water during the rainy season for the use of dry season. Also, they can use waste water after recycling for irrigation purposes.
Removal of weeds manually
Small farms can use this method. Then reduce the chemical usage and it is benefited to the soil health.
Integrated pest management
This is a combination pest control method. Farmer can remove only specific pest by targeted spraying.
In agroforestry trees will interplant with crops. Trees and shrubs supply shade and protect land by working as riparian buffer strips.
Farmer can use improved marketing system to enhance the profitability. Direct marketing methods are farmers’ markets, roadside markets and community supported agriculture.
If you wish to own a farm then better to think about these sustainable methods. Because these practices surely help or lead you to build a better future for your children.