Traditionally, farmers have always known that maintaining a healthy environment is essential to their livelihood. As a result, they have been open to new practices to ensure that they can continue their work for the benefit of all. Here are 4 ways modern farming is helping to make food production more eco-friendly to help sustain the planet.
Growing crops takes nutrients from the soil and predisposes it to problems with certain types of insects. Research has given farmers a new understanding of how to plant crops to conserve the soil, reduce erosion and minimize the damage from chemical herbicides and fertilizers. Rotating crops, planting trees and shrubs in fields to mimic the natural environment and using cover crops to re-vitalize the soil can help to minimize damage caused by farming.
Reduced Energy Consumption
Today’s farmers are more vigilant about the energy they use, both for sustainability and to reduce expenses. They are more likely to use update, energy-efficient equipment and use vehicles such as tractors and trucks with greater precision, using GPS and other types of technology to restrict fuel use.
Farmers have revamped the way they use water, using more efficient methods for irrigation, automated systems for irrigation to accommodate weather changes and recycling of water that ensure good use of this important resource. Some farmers employ drone technology to provide visual monitoring of their fields to ensure crops receive irrigation only when they need it. Planting drought resistant species also helps them to use less water so that it can go further to produce abundant yields to feed the nation.
Using Integrated Pest Management to Reduce Pollution
Integrated Pest Management is a system of science-based methods to control the damage by insects to food crops and other plants, using strategies found in nature. These strategies may involve the use of biological species that feed off damaging insects, the use of plant species that help to repel insects, changing plant culture methods and using insect-resistant plant species, instead of the use of manufactured chemicals to eliminate damage to crops. Today’s rural sheds are more likely to contain more eco-friendly products than the chemical insecticides of past days.
Science and technology are helping farmers develop new ways to improve crop production and conserve natural resources for the present and the future. They are on the front lines of employing innovations to optimize the use of water, soil and chemicals, to ensure that their work is an intrinsic part of sustaining the planet for generations to come.
Anita Ginsburg, the author, is a Freelance Writer