What does sustainability mean in agriculture


Sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is the act of farming based on an understanding of ecosystem services, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. The phrase was reportedly coined by Australian agricultural scientist Gordon McClymont. Wes Jackson is credited with the first publication of the expression in his 1980 book New Roots for Agriculture.

consists of environment friendly methods of farming that allow the production of crops or livestock without damage to human or natural systems. It involves preventing adverse effects to soil, water, biodiversity, surrounding or downstream resources—as well as to those working or living on the farm or in neighboring areas.

Sustainable agriculture can be defined in many ways, but ultimately it seeks to sustain farmers, resources and communities by promoting farming practices and methods that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities. Sustainable agriculture fits into and complements modern agriculture.


What are cons of sustainable agriculture?

What are the pros and cons of sustainable agriculture?

  • No GMOs.
  • Supports healthy soil.
  • More nutrition and flavor.
  • Supports pollinators.
  • Healthier working environment for farmers.
  • Resistance to pests and diseases.
  • Fertilizers are created on-site.
  • Opportunity for specializing.

What are the features of sustainable agriculture?

  • Rotating crops and embracing diversity.
  • Planting cover crops.
  • Reducing or eliminating tillage.
  • Applying integrated pest management (IPM).
  • Integrating livestock and crops.
  • Adopting agroforestry practices.
  • Managing whole systems and landscapes.

What are the benefits of sustainable farming?

  • Improvement of air quality. Sustainable agriculture aims to get rid of such harmful activities as the use of nitrogen fertilizers and agricultural burning. …
  • Zero world hunger. This is one of the main advantages of sustainable agriculture. …
  • New technologies. …

What are some examples of sustainable farming practices?

Some examples of sustainable practices include: sheep and beneficial birds to control weeds and pests cover crops, drip irrigation and process ponds to conserve water


What does sustainable agriculture mean?

“Sustainable agriculture” as legally defined in U.S. Code Title 7, Section 3103 means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will over the long term: Satisfy human food and fiber needs.

How is sustainability used in agriculture?

The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Why is sustainability important to agriculture?

In addition to preserving the earth’s natural resources, sustainable agriculture benefits the environment through helping maintain soil quality, reducing erosion, and preserving water.

What is sustainable agriculture examples?

Rotating crops and embracing diversity. Planting a variety of crops can have many benefits, including healthier soil and improved pest control. Crop diversity practices include intercropping (growing a mix of crops in the same area) and complex multiyear crop rotations.

What is sustainable agriculture essay?

Sustainable agriculture is a process of farming using eco-friendly methods understanding and maintaining the relationship between the organisms and environment. In this process of agriculture and animal husbandry are combined to form a simultaneous process and practice.

What are 5 sustainable agricultural practices?

Here are a few examples of some of these practices:Crop Diversity & Rotation. This is said to be one of the most effective control strategies. … Agroforestry and Food Forests. … Benefits of Animals. … Pest Management. … Reduce Tilling.

Why is sustainable agriculture important?

It’s essential to conserve the planet’s resources, for both our own security and that of future generations. The long-term viability of agriculture depends on the careful treatment of our water supply and available land.

How does agriculture help deforestation?

While industrial agriculture engages in deforestation on a massive scale, smaller operations can take advantage of forests. Some agricultural professionals use the foliage to grow shade-loving specialty crops. Other professionals use the trees and shrubs along streams as buffer strips to trap sediment and enhance filtration.

Why is water conservation important?

Since agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals, water conservation is fundamental to sustainability in the industry. As an important part of agricultural stewardship, farmers improve the quality of drinking and surface water by planting riparian buffers, which also protect the wetlands.

What is holistic farming?

Holistic agriculture is an approach to farming which involves the study of interrelated and interdependent parts. Farmers take advantage of natural ecosystems to manage their land, using an integrated system of plant and animal production practices with site-specific applications over the long-term.

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is an interesting approach to sustainability, a practice which doesn’t control, but cooperates with animal and plant life. It allows flora and fauna to form a complex, symbiotic system and shows respect for the ecology of the natural world. Over time, it helps to protect against depletion. 3.

How much forest does agriculture consume?

According to a new global study, industrial agriculture consumes as much as 5 million hectares of forests every year, an area equivalent to Costa Rica.

Why is fertilizer important?

Chemical fertilizers are often indispensable for the cost-effective production of commercial crops, but their long-term application often has unintended consequences. Gradually, with repeated use, the chemicals in the fertilizer seep through the soil into groundwater, causing contamination and environmental imbalance.

Why is sustainable agriculture important?

In terms of human health, crops grown through sustainable agriculture are better for people. Due to the lack of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, people are not being exposed to or consuming synthetic materials. This limits the risk of people becoming ill from exposure to these chemicals. In addition, the crops produced through sustainable agriculture can also be more nutritious because the overall crops are healthier and more natural.

What are the goals of sustainable agriculture?

In addition to producing food, there are several overall goals associated with sustainable agriculture, including conserving water, reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and promoting biodiversity in crops grown and the ecosystem. Sustainable agriculture also focuses on maintaining economic stability of farms and helping farmers improve …

How does sustainable agriculture benefit the environment?

One major benefit to the environment is that sustainable agriculture uses 30% less energy per unit of crop yield in comparison to industrialized agriculture. This reduced reliance on fossil fuels results in the release of less chemicals and pollution into the environment.

How can agriculture be more sustainable?

There are many farming strategies that are used that help make agriculture more sustainable. Some of the most common techniques include growing plants that can create their own nutrients to reduce the use of fertilizers and rotating crops in fields, which minimizes pesticide use because the crops are changing frequently.

How does agriculture help the environment?

Sustainable agriculture also benefits the environment by maintaining soil quality, reducing soil degradation and erosion, and saving water. In addition to these benefits, sustainable agriculture also increases biodiversity of the area by providing a variety of organisms with healthy and natural environments to live in.

What are the main goals of agriculture?

The main goals of this type of agriculture are to produce food, conserve water, reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides, promote biodiversity, and maintain a stable economy and lifestyle for farmers.

What is the best way to reduce the risk of disease destroying crops?

Another common technique is mixing crops, which reduces the risk of a disease destroying a whole crop and decreases the need for pesticides and herbicides. Sustainable farmers also utilize water management systems, such as drip irrigation, that waste less water. An error occurred trying to load this video.

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture serves as a much-needed alternative to the industrial farming practices that have been employed in the United States for decades. These methods, which include repeatedly planting the same crop on one plot of land and encouraging growth through the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, …

What are the three main goals of sustainable agriculture?

The three main goals of sustainable agriculture are economic profitability for farmers; the promotion of environmental stewardship; and an increase in welfare for farmers, their communities, and their animals while producing enough to meet the needs of humans.

Why are antibiotics not used in agriculture?

Antibiotic Resistance: Because antibiotics are not used for preventive medicine in sustainable agriculture, implementing sustainable methods of production increases the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating people. Pandemics: Industrial agriculture, in which animals are kept in tight quarters, is a driver of disease.

Why do farmers use the same land to raise livestock and crops?

Using the same land to raise livestock and crops reduces the need for fertilizers, as the manure from the cattle provides nutrients to the plants. This practice also helps control soil erosion and has no impact on crop yield.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

Environmental Impacts. Industrial agriculture is a driving force behind water pollution, soil degradation, and air pollution. The animals housed in CAFOs produce tons of manure every year which is either stored or applied to fields as a fertilizer.

What is the Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill also provides for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program which provide financial and technical assistance to farms that use sustainable methods that encourage improved water, air, and soil quality. The total budget for these programs is less than $5 billion.

What are the products that are supported by the Farm Bill?

Though the Farm Bill provides a mix of support for industrial and sustainable farmers, more funding is provided to support industrial methods through subsidies of certain products, notably wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, dairy, and cotton.


Since 1994, when the first edition of this Special Reference Brief was compiled, “sustainability” has become a more familiar term.

Sustainable Agriculture: The Basics

Some terms defy definition. “Sustainable agriculture” has become one of them.

Some Background

How have we come to reconsider our food and fiber production in terms of sustainability? What are the ecological, economic, social and philosophical issues that sustainable agriculture addresses?

A Sampling of Perspectives

“It’s easy to understand why key individuals and organizations in agriculture have flocked to this term. After all, who would advocate a ‘non-sustainable agriculture?’” [Charles A. Francis, “Sustainable Agriculture: Myths and Realities,” Journal of Sustainable Agriculture (1990) 1 (1): p.97.

What does “sustainable” mean in farming?

To be sustainable doesn’t mean living outside the grid or returning to practices of the pre-industrial.

What is sustainability in the environment?

Sustainability. Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a broad term that moves beyond the concept of sustainability. It represents a move away from conventional and high input farming techniques that degrade the quality of the soil. The movement aims to restore the fertility of the soil through a range of methods.

What has the Australian government done about farming?

The Australian Government has produced an interesting report that looks at Australian Farming and Agriculture over the last 200 years. They write that: “There have been many changes in farming methods over the last 200 years and Australian farmers have had to be adaptable as well as resilient and inventive.

What is holistic agriculture?

A definition of holistic states: (from a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) in agriculture means a systems thinking approach to managing resources. related to the idea that things should be studied as a whole and not just as a sum of their parts. Holistic agriculture has been explained as:

Why do we need fertilisers in farming?

In this method of farming, fertilisers are needed because growing the same plant (and nothing else) in the same place year after year quickly depletes the nutrients that the plant relies on, and these nutrients have to be replenished somehow.

Where does the word “agriculture” come from?

The word agriculture comes from the Latin words ager , means the soil & cultura, means cultivation.“Agriculture can be defined as the cultivation and/or production of crop plants or livestock products.”

What is economic sustainability?

The phrase “economic sustainability” is frequently used by farm subsidy advocates to justify wasteful expenditures on agricultural programs. However, in an agricultural context, the exact meaning of economic sustainability is often misunderstood. Unlike environmental and ecological notions of sustainability, economic sustainability conveys …

Why are livestock prices volatile?

Crop yields and prices are volatile, and livestock production is subject to debilitating diseases, forage shortages, and the vagaries of harsh weather. Market prices for livestock products (milk, beef, chicken, etc.) also vary substantially from year to year.

Does economic sustainability depend on the survival of a farm?

The economic sustainability of the sector does not rest on the survival of any particular farm operation. It depends on the economic performance of the sector as whole. An individual farm’s failure has no implications for the economic sustainability of the agricultural industry.


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