What is Sustainable Agriculture?

What is Sustainable Agriculture?

There’s a significant trend influencing farms all across rural America, and it’s one that is gaining momentum.

Since the late 80’s and the death of the family farm model, farms have been run by large corporations, producing the bulk of the food that arrives in our supermarkets and on our tables from the industrial agricultural system. Often utilizing large tracts of farmland to yield the same crops annually, industrial agriculture certainly yields large crop volume, but it does so by using often mass quantities of pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers that are potentially dangerous to the soil, air, climate and even the food it’s all meant to grow. However, an increasing amount of forward thinking farmers, organic co-op organizations, and ecologists are looking to change that. Implementing a new system called “Sustainable Agriculture”, this group of innovative ecologists is looking toward a future where farming both returns to its proud origins while utilizing modern technology at the same time.

Sustainability Concepts in Theory

You might have heard the term “sustainable agriculture” before and have a vague understanding of what it means, but it’s important to know the deeper definitions and applications of this ecological movement.

True agricultural sustainability involves many moving parts, but the essential components surround the notion that a farm should be:
  • Economically Profitable. The work done and the yield produced by the farm needs to turn a profit and contribute to the economy).
  • Socially Supportive. The methodology behind sustainable farming is deeply rooted in the idea that the use of the land must yield positivity for society, and contribute to the quality of life for the farmer, the farmer’s family and the communities for which it provides sustenance.
  • Environmentally Responsible. The methods employed to grow the crops must demonstrate a commitment in both theory and practice to protecting the natural resources and preserving the ecosystem of the organic reserves used.
The sustainability method is a holistic one, designed so that each facet of the system is integrated with the other. This practice, called agroecology, looks at each individual farm as its own functioning, interdependent ecosystem, with changes to one aspect of the structure (for example, the condition of the soil) affecting all the other components of the system (such as overly moist soil might result in certain pest issues.)

The concept centers around the notion that working with nature instead of against it will result in better outcomes for all aspects of the project.

Sustainability Applications in Practice

The sustainability approach is not just a far-fetched theory; years of research and innovative applications of the concepts have produced proof that the idea is a valid one. These include:
  • Utilizing cover crops. Planting vegetation that grows exponentially to cover large areas of land during crop off-season not only keeps soil in prime nutrient health, but also can counter soil erosion and limit weed growth, resulting in having to use less herbicide and fertilizer to chemically enrich the soil.
  • Rotating crops. Industrial farming typically uses the same fields to plant the same type of crops over and over again every season, which sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice has led to soil often being stripped of the specific nutrients from over demand and pests building resistance to pesticides. A better practice is to plant a variety of crops, which recent studies have shown actually improves soil composition and reduces the occurrence of certain types of pests.
  • Combining crops and livestock. When industrial farming took over so did the notion that animals and plants had to be kept far away from each other. Current scientific evidence suggests this was actually a mistake, and that both livestock and crops benefit from sharing common land, soil, and resources.
  • Limiting tillage practices. Traditional farming held the theory that plowing eliminated early weed germination and brought nutrient-rich soil to the top, which was thought to be necessary for crop health. However, this method leads over time to significant loss of soil volume and damaged top-soil. The sustainable methodology suggests planting crops directly into undisturbed earth will diminish erosion and lead to more robust soil.

  • The sustainable agricultural movement is adding proponents every day due to it’s union of traditional farming know-how with present-day scientific knowledge. While some industrial agronomy supporters suggest the current method of “slash and burn” mass production is necessary to feed an ever-growing world population, burgeoning scientific evidence demonstrates that the sustainable agriculture method can be just as abundant, just as profitable, and in the end, a safer, healthier way to both provide for our people and be good stewards of the Earth.

Contact Us

[contact-form-7 id="1716" title="Products Sidebar"]

Discover Why ECA is used for Landscaping

  • Sport Field Play Ground
  • Intensive Roof Terrace Garden
  • Extensive Roof Terrace Garden
  • Urban Tree
  • Agriculture
  • Eca Hydroponics
  • Horticulture Plants
  • Vertical Garden
  • New Lawn Construction

Downloads for Landscaping​

  • Sport Field Play Ground
  • Intensive Roof Terrace Garden
  • Extensive Roof Terrace Garden
  • Urban Tree
  • Agriculture
  • Eca Hydroponics
  • Horticulture Plants
  • Vertical Garden
  • New Lawn Construction
WhatsApp chat