Sustainable farming is a growing practice that is vital to the health and welfare of our planet. While modern industrial agriculture is highly productive and can produce a massive amount of plants within a harvest season, it also introduces many damaging and long-term problems that can only be solved through sustainable practices. With the decline of the farming environment around the world today, here are five reasons why sustainable farming is a rational solution to our agricultural needs.
1. Get Rid of Monoculture
Industrial agriculture relies on a process called monoculture, which involves planting huge fields of a single plant breed. This practice is extremely dangerous, as relying on a single breed causes the plants to become vulnerable to diseases that can spread quickly from plant to plant. A single disease can wipe out an entire industry of crop, which can cause food prices to spike.
2. Make Better Use of Land
Industrial farming also takes up a lot of land, and since most fields feature a single crop, it’s difficult to make use of an entire mixed field. By wasting this significant amount of space, industrial farming techniques are ruining the landscape, causing other farmers to spend unnecessary amounts of money acquiring other plots of land.
Sustainable farming places several crops on a single plot of land, usually by combining tall, sun-loving plants with shorter, shade-loving plants. This practice produces more food per acre and allows farmers to free up more land for preservation purposes.
3. Reduce Pollution
While fertilizers used by industrial plant farms can help to encourage plant growth, they can also lead to polluted runoff water that can ruin the natural environment. Industrial animal farming also produces waste that can pollute nearby waters and is known for its methane production pollution. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that’s harmful to the earth’s atmosphere, and most of it comes from industrial cattle farming.
Sustainable agriculture solves these issues by using crop rotation and natural fertilizers while minimizing the number of animals on a farm. The process still involves a little bit of pollution, but it can be combined with recycling and water reclamation efforts to eliminate the problem.
4. Increase the Welfare of Animals
With an industry that’s driven purely by profit margins, industrial factory farming is known for encouraging the poor treatment of animals. Farmers within the industry can save money by packing as many animals as they can into a small space, which creates a truly horrific and inhumane way of life for the livestock. Sustainable agriculture produces a quality living for animals by mixing a limited number of them with a plant-based farm, which gives livestock a sufficient space to graze and roam in.
5. Stabilize the Food Supply
Industrial agriculture encourages farms to consolidate into large corporations. This practice can save a lot of money for individual farmers, but it can also mean that the problems of a single company can impact a huge proportion of the nation’s farmers. Sustainable farming is easily decentralized and limits the impact of financial troubles to a small percentage of its agriculture industry.