How sustainable agriculture can be achieved
With more knowledge becoming apparent about the ongoing climate crisis and the effect that agriculture can have on it, it is important to try and farm sustainably. There are several ways in which sustainable agriculture can be achieved, some of which are laid out below.
Move to arable farming
One of the biggest things causing environmental damage is the farming of animals, in particular cows. Excessive beef farming can have catastrophic effects on the planet – cows give off a lot of methane (a greenhouse gas), which greatly affects the temperature of the planet. As beef farming has increased over the decades, more land has been needed for cows to graze on, with large parts of the Amazon Rainforest becoming depleted due to this – this means that there aren’t as many trees around to cut down on carbon dioxide production. As a result, a move to arable farming would be much more sustainable than farming meat. Vegetarianism and veganism have both become increasingly popular in recent years and cutting out on meat consumption can also help to achieve more sustainability.
Invest in animal health and welfare
If you do still want to farm meat, there are ways in which you can do this in a more sustainable manner. Instead of battery farming, you can go towards more organic methods and invest in the health and welfare of your animals. Animals are living beings, so it is good practice to treat them well, but if your animals are ill, this can also lead to you losing money on your farm.
The British government has recently introduced something called The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE), which is responsible for the strategic animal health and welfare policy and overseeing the implementation of this in England – meat farmers looking to farm more sustainably should look into the AHWBE.
Protect your soil
Intensive farming and agricultural practices can have a lasting effect on soil health – if soil is farmed too intensively, this can lead to it being unable to reproduce crops in future and may mean more land has to be acquired. As well as the cost and space issues this creates, it also has an environmental impact. By using sustainable agriculture products, you can increase nutrient availability and make your farming more environmentally friendly.
This is another way to achieve sustainable agriculture. By rotating your crops, you can avoid soil erosion happening by protecting topsoil from wind and water. This can also help to replenish soil nutrients and prevent pests from damaging soil and crops, thus making your crops more sustainable overall.