Tag Archives: Farm

Sustainable Farming Practices

Sustainable Farming Practices

 

Sustainable farming practices are in the news these days. This article talks about sustainable farming practices from a pragmatic point of view.

The definition of sustainable farming is practical as well: “a group of practices designed to protect the earth from potential harm that growing crops and animals for food sustainable farming practicespurposes can do”.

 

If you’re involved in agriculture, even on a small scale, chances are you’ve heard about sustainable farming practices before. On the off chance that you haven’t, sustainable farming, simply put, is a group of practices designed to protect the earth from potential harm that growing crops and raising animals for food purposes can do.

However, for many farmers, sustainable farming seems like an unreachable goal, and one that will make day-to-day operations too costly. While that may be true of very expensive processes that involve full-scale renovations to a farm or growing land, there are many sustainable farming practices that can be easily incorporated into your regular routine.

In fact, some can even save you money in the long run.

 

Water Management

Poorly maintained irrigation systems and water waste are common problems among farms of all sizes, from small single-family farms to major farms that supply significant amounts of food for resale; however, managing your water consumption doesn’t have to be a chore.

The easiest and best way to manage your water use is by planting crops that naturally grow in the area. If you live in an area without a lot of rain, don’t plant crops that need considerable moisture on a regular basis in large quantities.

In addition to choosing the proper crops, irrigating your land properly and using cover crops that help the soil retain moisture for longer periods of time, therefore requiring less watering from you, can help reduce your overall water use.

Collecting rainwater is another option for many farmers, and that can save you money after your initial investment is paid back within a relatively short period of time.

 

Rotate Your Crops

Crop rotation is an old practice that teaches farmers to alternate their crops in order to keep their soil as healthy and nutrient-rich as possible. In some cases, crop rotation can be very simple.

For example, you should plant grains after legumes and crops that grow in rows after grains; however, depending on what you’re growing, it isn’t always that simple. Doing a little bit of homework on how to best rotate your specific crops is recommended.

The benefits of rotating your crops include prevention of disease transmission from crop to crop and a general reduction in the amount of pests in the soil that can damage crops.

 

Diversify Your Crops

Crop diversity takes the idea of crop rotation a step further, getting farmers to alternate the species of a certain type of crop when they grow it. This not only helps to keep soil nutrient-rich, but it also helps farmers protect their crops from diseases and pests.

Using a combination crop rotation and crop diversification method is ideal, and if you’re only growing a handful of crops each year, it is surprisingly simple to do.

 

Controlled Pest Management

Pest management is a serious concern for many farmers; however, simply spraying all of your crops isn’t in the best interest for the soil, your crops or the earth, and it doesn’t have to be done if you’re smart about how you plant your crops.

By rotating crops, diversifying your species and integrating beneficial insects that keep harmful pests out, you may not need to spray at all. If you do, you’ll be able to use a targeted-spray method, limiting your overall use of pesticides and chemicals.

Sustainable farming is more important today than it ever has been because of droughts in many areas and increased temperatures all over the globe. Even if you only grow a small amount of crops each year, using these basic sustainable growing practices can help reduce your farm’s environmental impact while saving you money in the process.

 

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Sustainable Farming in Latin America

Sustainable Farming in Latin America

Coffee farms that use sustainable farming techniques are becoming habitats for various species of wildlife. Using tags on the endangered species like the Columbian night Monkey, has shown that they come out of the trees at night and feed on the edges of coffee farms.

All in all the researchers found 12 species living in the coffee fields.

Sustainable Farming in Latin America Preserves Wildlife Habitat

Latin American farms that grow coffee and bananas in an environmentally sustainable manner are serving as biological corridors and even habitat for various species of wildlife, according to a new report by the Rainforest Alliance.

The study, presented in Costa Rica, found that a range of wild species are living on Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms, including the vulnerable Colombian night monkey.

The organization’s communications manager for Latin America, Milagro Espinoza, told Efe that practically all of the region’s RA-certified coffee farms are inhabited by wildlife.

The RA also has documented cases of wild species living on banana farms in Costa Rica.

“The standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, the tool used in the Rainforest Alliance certification process, include the protection of wild areas as part of their guidelines,” she said.

“That measure has led the coffee farms to become a refuge option or corridor for birds that have been seeing their nesting or migration areas disappear,” Espinoza said.

Colombia is a special case because of the presence in that country of the Colombian night monkey.

“It’s rare to spot night monkeys because they are nocturnal and live in trees,” Deanna Newsom, a senior evaluation and research analyst for the Rainforest Alliance, said.

“By placing tags with a radio signal on a group of Colombian night monkeys, we discovered that they spend almost as much time feeding at the coffee farms under dense shade as in the rainforest,” she added.

Researchers found 12 different species living on coffee farms in Colombia, including the kinkajou, or honey bear; bushy-tailed olingo; and the South American coati.

To obtain the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, farmers must comply with a set a standards that protect the environment and promote the rights and wellbeing of workers, their families and their communities.

 

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