Everyone has become very concerned with the environment, and quite rightly so. We’re continually contemplating, innovating, and employing alternative ways to do things and working to save our ecology. Farming is one industry in which big changes are afoot, with farmers looking for more sustainable ways to produce our food.
Using Renewable Energy Sources
One of the most significant ways of farming more sustainably is to use alternative sources of energy. Solar, wind, and hydro-power farms are very ecology friendly. It’s also possible for farms to create their own energy. For example, by using solar panels to power electric fencing and irrigation systems. Taking advantage of the earth’s heat and using geothermal heat pumps are another option.
Integrating Pest Management
Using a combination of pest control methods allows the less harmful pests to co-exist with the crops. Targeted spraying works very effectively, for example, when specific pests need to be controlled. It also helps to prevent wildlife in the surrounding area from being affected.
Using Natural Pest Eliminators
As well as man-made pesticides, there are several natural pest eliminators that work equally well. Insects, birds, and bats are all very effective pest eliminators. Beetles, fly parasites and a host of other creatures can be purchased and released on or around any crops. There are many disadvantages to using chemical pesticides. They kill many insects that are useful to the crops, pollute soil and water supplies, and make people sick.
Crop rotation is something that has been practised successfully for centuries. It has been proven to help keep the soil nutritious and healthy. Crops are planted one season to replenish the nutrients taken from the soil by the previous season’s crops.
Preventing Soil Erosion
The key to good crop production is to have healthy soil. Cover crops, fertilizers, and manure all help improve the quality of the soil, as do ploughing and tilling the land. Rotating crops reduces the chance of recurring diseases and eliminates certain pests.
By diversifying their crops, farmers reduce the financial burden of growing. If one particular crop fails there’s another one to fall back on.
Managing Water More Effectively
Farmers need to choose crops that are more suited to the weather condition of their local area. If an area is dry, for example, crops that don’t require too much water should be grown. When irrigation systems are necessary they should be installed only after adequate planning has taken place.
Sustainable farming practices are required if we want to help conserve our natural resources. They also help reduce our reliance on chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers.