The world’s population is growing, and that means the demand for food is rising. Fortunately, the development of sustainable agriculture makes it possible to meet that demand without destroying the environment. These techniques are likely to dominate the industry in the coming years, so it is vital for everyone to understand them.
Water is a precious resource. It can also be in short supply due to the constant demand for it. That makes water conservation vital from an environmental perspective. Farmers have an additional motive, since water conservation can help them to keep working during droughts.
There are many techniques that are in use. Farmers are switching to irrigation methods that use less water, or to crops that do not need irrigation to stay healthy in their native environment. The use of cover crops and mulching can combine with other farming practices to keep water in the soil and cut down on the amount that the plants need. Taken together, these methods conserve resources without significantly boosting costs. That’s a great deal for farmers, which make sit one of the most popular sustainable trends.
Tilling the soil can cause soil erosion and release carbon into the atmosphere, but it also helps plants to grow properly. Farmers have started transitioning to no-till methods that offer comparable benefits without disrupting the soil. Some forms of no-till agriculture require additional pesticides, but others do not, and all of them can cut down on the farmer’s workload.
These techniques are spreading slowly and steadily. More than a third of farms use them to some degree, but very few have transitioned to them entirely. This slow transition gives farmers the time they need to perfect the techniques, which will become more popular as they improve.
Industrial agriculture traditionally depends on a small number of crops that are highly productive and easy to store. Sustainable agriculture avoids that technique in favor of diversity.
Diverse crops offer advantages to farmers, including a natural defense against common pests and more fertile soil. They also prevent catastrophic crop failures, since multiple species are unlikely to fail at the same time. As with most other sustainable techniques, diverse planting is becoming popular because it helps the environment and the farmers at the same time.