What Are The Best Practices Of Sustainable Agriculture?
Agriculture is one of the oldest occupations in the world and has been used for thousands of years to cultivate crops. It is essential to supply the world’s food needs. Over time, agriculture has evolved and taken different shapes to meet this demand.
Advancements in science and technology have enabled farmers to produce extensive amounts of food which have helped fulfill the demand for food. The agricultural revolution helped in transforming food production and the increased output fed the growing population across the globe. Furthermore, the use of enormous amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides maximized output and made food cheap and abundant.
However, the flipside to this has been that modern farming practices have damaged the environment and affected human health. It has caused land erosion, polluted air, water and soil, caused deforestation, loss of soil quality, degradation of resources and damaged environment. Additionally, the use of chemicals and its subsequent mixing with water has caused diseases and health problems in humans. This is where the advent of sustainable agriculture comes in.
Sustainable agriculture is aimed at the production of healthy and quality food without compromising health and environment. Moreover, it encourages the adoption of new agricultural techniques and farming methods which help in conserving our limited natural resources. Other facets of sustainable agriculture include conserving the economy, profits, maintaining/ improving soil health, promotion of biodiversity, and maximizing productivity. Some of the best practices are mentioned below for sustainable agriculture.
1. Crop rotation along with improved crop diversity is one of the simple and effective methods to protect soil and maintain its quality. Growing a variety of crops can help the farmers to enjoy better yields for each crop in rotation as well as, in a single harvest. It also enhances soil fertility and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It works on the principle that crops that do not require similar nutrient in terms of quality and well as quantity one after the other. The crops must exhibit a sort of positive corelation with one another to ensure they positively influence one another’s growth and do not drain the soil of the same nutrients. Examples include growing barley after wheat, cereals after legumes etc.
Similarly, crop diversity helps in preventing crops from disease and decay as well. If an infection or a pest attack affects one variety or species, the other plant varieties remain relatively safe and ensure that the farmer does not incur a complete loss. There is an ecological benefit to crop biodiversity as well, as they encourage the inhabitation of various pollinators and beneficial insects that acts as natural barriers to pestilence, according to Royal CBD – America’s largest natural hemp & CBD flower farmer.
2. Cover crop adoption is one of the best techniques to add natural matter to the soil and improve and maximize the productivity of the land where crops are grown.
When farmers grow seasonal crops, during the off season they traditionally left the land fallow. The wind and heavy rainfall can lead to soil erosion in such situations. Nutrients from the soil percolate into the groundwater and pollute it. Using cover crops during off season ensure that both of these situations do not arise. They protect the physical integrity and chemical fertility of the soil.
3. Soil fertility and quality are major factors that can help in sustainable farming. Soil fertility involves three aspects: physical, chemical and biological fertility. Due to the extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides, soil biological fertility and diversity has decreased significantly. Replenishment of the biological fertility of soils can boost soil quality and productivity. Sustainable agricultural products and practices that ensure a boost to biological fertility are of utmost importance.
To achieve success with sustainable agricultural practices, there is an urgent need to switch to natural, eco-friendly and innovative agricultural solutions.
Organica Biotech is a leader in the space of agricultural products that support and boost sustainable agriculture. The MagicGro range of products are natural plant growth promoters which enhance immunity, crop vigour, productivity, improve in yield, quality and reduce the dependence on the use of chemicals.