Sustainable agriculture is regarding increasing agricultural production of crops while at the same time preserving the ecological resources in which they grow. The conflict between sustainable agriculture and energy crop cultivation systems that permit biomass and bioenergy crops to be made on agricultural land has created a lot of debate between gardeners and farmers.
Over the last decades or so, the results of increasing oil costs together with the environmental impact caused by burning fossil fuels, like emission of harmful pollutants and climate change has led to an increase of biomass, especially to provide biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel) as biofuels are currently related to a vital supply of renewable energy to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
But the big scale production of biomass and second-generation biofuels may be having dramatic effects on agriculture sustainability and food security. While organic agriculture permits for enhancements in energy efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gas emissions, arable and cultivated land is currently being planted with crops that occupy the land for long periods and need not be replanted once every harvest such as trees grown for wood or timber.
But what is “sustainable agriculture”. Several think of agriculture as large farms and fields filled with tractors using fertilizers and pesticides to provide a constant supply of sustainable foods. However, sustainable agriculture also can be carried out in small scale farms or in back yards and gardens where the process of growing your fruits and vegetables is often simply managed by a single-family.
Sustainable agriculture by definition is that the method of science and in most cases the business of manufacturing food, crops and other such products by the cultivation of seeds and plants and the breeding and raising of livestock (cattle, pigs or hens).
he practices that comprise the umbrella of property agriculture may be various and varied relying upon the geography and ecology of the area. However, there are a variety of approaches and practices that are more or less common to all sustainable agriculture methods such as:
Soil Management – Soil is the basic resource for agricultural production systems thus soil quality and health are a significant consideration as good soil management produces crops and land that are healthier, less susceptible to disease, and generally more productive.
Water Management – Though it seems to be everywhere, water is a precious resource thus reducing losses from leaky pipes, collecting rain, reducing the amount of water used, and reusing water that will otherwise have been discarded, all assist conserve our water source saving money and permitting us to use efficiently in dry times.
Crop Diversity – This can be more than simply adding another crop or crop kind to an existing field however focuses on how crops interact with each other, the soil, and the environment. Other types of crops take different types of nutrients from the soil so the biological diversity of planting different crops helps promote the agricultural development of plants, animals, and micro-organisms.
Crop Rotation – Sustainable crop rotation helps control soil erosion, weed control, and disease suppression as well as enhancing soil biodiversity, water quality and wildlife increasing productivity and environmental sustainability. Additionally, crop Rotation is a valuable part of planning a home garden.
Nutrient Management – This about the application of nutrients and soil amendments in the type of manure, legumes, and organic wastes to enhance the quality of the soil.
While common nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are needed by crops and vegetables in comparatively giant amounts, excessive use of nutrients will pollute surface and groundwater sources adversely affecting the surroundings. Nutrient management and testing will offer plants and crops with the right balance of nutrients while avoiding over application.
Pest Management – The prevention and control of unwanted pests and bugs among the crops and plants will eliminate or at least drastically diminish the utilization of risky pesticides and sprays helping minimize the toxicity and exposure to the plants.
Pest control is about removing the conditions that pest requires from food to shelter and striking a balance between the great pests and organisms we want and the dangerous bugs as several birds, insects and spiders eat the dangerous pests.