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Changes Shaping More Eco-Friendly Agriculture

– Contributed content –

Grain harvesting

(esiul, Pixabay)

21 Dec. 2018. Despite producing the vast majority of the food we consume, there are serious concerns that the agricultural industry has been having a dramatic impact on the environment, both in their own local areas and on a broader, global scale. However, less publicized are the moves that those in the industry are making to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly industry. Here, we’re going to look at the trends starting to be adopted in farms across the globe.

More, stronger crops

Growing crops comes with its fair share of concern. For one, growing crops is resource intensive and the time and energy is takes to grow crops is being made less wasteful by the development of faster breeding crops. What’s more, crops that are tolerant to herbicide are also being developed, meaning that growing them does not necessarily mean having to till the land, so less carbon is released from the earth during the planting process. Crops have a much eco-friendlier production method than meat, so green thinking farmers are starting to shift to growing more and herding less.

The move to cleaner fuels

For efficient farming, the use of heavy machinery is considered essential. However, fueling that farm equipment could be getting environmentally safer with the use of cleaner fuels. For instance, briquetting biogas fuels provides a much cleaner, renewable source of energy. Biogas makes use of several materials that are already available on the majority of farms, including food scraps, leftover parts of crops, and manure. By briquetting it, it is condensed into a form that produces a lot more heat and energy, providing an alternative source of fuel for a lot of farm equipment.

Mindful water use

Water use is becoming a greater concern as the real risk that we could run into clean water shortages looms over us in the future. All kinds of farmers require a lot of water, but how they acquire and use it has been improving. Water-saving techniques like using drought-tolerant crops, dry farming in more arid environments, and improving the soil with compost and mulch are helping. Farmers are also using equipment like smarter irrigation technology and tanks to capture and store water, so they have to rely less on the pipes to supply what they need.

Protecting biodiversity

Agriculture takes up a significant amount of land, and many are concerned that growing farms are accelerating the dwindling of wild spaces. As a result, biodiversity is at risk, making more and more species endangered. However, more farmers are focusing on protecting biodiversity by using things like cover crops that can provide natural habitats for fauna, while some farmers are joining schemes like the Conservation Reserve Program, which sets aside a portion of their land to maintain and restore biodiversity. There is still a lot of work to be done to prevent the destructive effect of farming on local habitats, however.

There is still plenty of work to be done in making the agricultural industry a safer, greener field of work. If you’re in farming, then adopting some of the methods mentioned above can help you join the cause as well.

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