Which Agriculture Practice is Eco-friendly?
Eco-friendly Agriculture Practices
Agriculture practice has changed a lot over the years in the evolution of plant science. Lots of different types of methods are used for agricultural production. Though these methods have helped in improving production to some extent, the use of chemicals has also risen. Today, there are hardly any agricultural products that are not grown without the use of pesticides. In fact, agricultural experts believe that it's impossible to feed the population without the use of pesticides. The use of chemicals in growing plants not only pose serious risks for humans, but the environment as well. For human longevity and protection of the environment, it's time to adapt eco-friendly agriculture practices.
Eco-friendly Agricultural Practices
The best thing about following eco-friendly agricultural practices is that they are comparatively easy to implement and also guarantee huge benefits. There are numerous methods that can be adopted to ensure that no harm is caused to the environment. Let us look at some eco-friendly steps that should be implemented in farming.
Promote Organic Farming
This is not an entirely new concept and has been followed since ancient times. Organic farming is a method of raising crops and livestock in a way that does not involve the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms. It is a method that assists in minimal soil degradation to maintain long-term fertility and encourages the growth of biological organisms in it. It promotes crop rotations and planting of cover crops that generate optimum results. This type of farming ensures minimal wastage as the residues and nutrients get recycled back to the soil.
Instill Solar Devices in the Farm
To facilitate agriculture practice, tools and equipment such as water pumps and tractors are used. To operate them, electricity or diesel energy is used, which leads to carbon emissions in greater percentage. The best alternative to curb this is to start using renewable sources of energy which is a lot cheaper. You can start installing solar panels on farms that can provide energy for equipment operations. By doing this, it will reduce the dependency on electricity, keep the carbon emissions in check, and limit the use of traditional energy sources.
Make Use of Natural Compost
It often happens that the farmers make use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to increase the crop production. This not only destroys the soil quality, but also makes the crop unhealthy for consumption. These chemical fertilizers are mostly expensive and its excessive use can defile the land. Therefore, instead of relying on synthesized manure, you can create your own compost which is said to be rich in nutrients and beneficial for the soil. Composting technique is an easy method to add humus to the soil and fuel the growth of crop, as well as restore the richness of your farm's soil. It can be easily prepared within the premises of your land.
Implement Steps for Water Management
While you cannot predict the climatic conditions and the aftermath caused by storms or torrential rains, you can always control the water supply system installed at the farmlands. With the world already facing major water crunch, it is time we start using available water wisely in the farms. Excess watering to the farms will only result in water logging of the fields and lead to destruction of the crop. To avoid such wastage, deploying irrigation systems like sprinkle or drip irrigation can prove advantageous. These irrigation systems ensure your farms are appropriately watered, the moisture is maintained, and also limit the water wastage. It delivers a precise amount of water at the plant's root zone, and also assists the contractors to maintain a tab on the gallons of water used for crop cultivation.
Use of No-till Devices
One of the practices that the farmers can implement is the use of no-till devices, like roller crimper to traditional practices of soil tilling. In this, not tilling the land promotes the placement of seeds in the same field in which the previous crop was sown. By doing this, the farmers let the residues remain on the surface as much and prevents the germination of weeds in the field. The advantage of not tilling the soil are many, including retaining the trapped nutrients, moisture content, soil quality, and trapped carbon, which are essential factors in cultivating crops.
By resorting to eco-friendly agricultural practices, it is possible to preserve the moisture in soil, maintain fertility level, and even enhance the visual appeal of the farm. Another practice that can be observed to do all this is mulching. In this, the top layer of the soil is covered with the crop residues, straws, leaves, grass, and twigs to help in cultivation of microorganisms, such as earthworms, which are beneficial for the natural activities in the soil. These help to generate large and small pores through which the water seeps in, thus reducing the surface runoff. Furthermore, as the mulch material decomposes gradually, it only enriches the organic content of the soil. Mulching can play a big role in preventing soil erosion.
When the farmers have increasingly relied on practices with the objective of bettering the crop, they have seen adverse effects like change in soil nature, reduced fertility, soil contamination, decrease in the microbes in farms and depletion of ground water resources. As the awareness to limit the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides increases, the farmers are becoming more knowledgeable about ecofriendly practices to follow. Although implementing ecofriendly agricultural practices is not a cheap alternative, it can be counted as one of the possible solutions in saving our planet, and ensuring a sustainable living for future generations.