sustainability look like?
Sustainability looks different on every farm. That’s because each farm has its own unique climate, soil type and other factors that farmers have to take into account. There are, however, some common practices that farmers use to better protect and maintain our soil, water and air resources.
some ways farmers practice sustainability.
By planting different crops in a planned sequence in each field, farmers are improving soil health, controlling weeds and pests, and reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
Modern livestock farms use manure storage and handling structures that safely contain manure until it is applied to cropland as fertilizer.
Farmers are using wetlands, buffer strips and subsurface drainage to manage the flow and drainage of water while preserving the nutrients in their soil.
By reducing or eliminating tillage, farmers are able to build organic matter in the soil, which helps to retain moisture and to reduce soil erosion and runoff.
Farmers are frequently testing their soils, maintaining nutrient management plans and applying nutrients only as needed to reduce over-application and protect water quality.
New technologies allow farmers to apply the right amount of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides (weed killers) at the right time to reduce chemical drift and runoff into waterways.
With non-chemical solutions like scouting, careful equipment cleaning and crop rotation, farmers are able to limit the spread of insects and weeds and use smaller amounts of chemicals.
The United States Department of Agriculture, with the help of U.S. farmers, has developed conservation programs to remove 10 percent of farmland from agriculture production, which preserves habitats for wildlife.
Making progress in our environmental impact.
U.S. farmers have already made significant progress in reducing our environmental impact. That’s because we want our families – and yours – to reap the benefits of agriculture for generations to come.