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5 Ways To Make Your Farm More Sustainable

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Let’s get right to it! The need to have a huge harvest pushes many farmers to less than healthy methods. But the idea of being in business is to think long term. A farm that is not sustainable cannot stand the test of time; not only will the nutrients in the land deplete, but the land will also degrade and the farm will soon lose its customers’ trust. The fear of many farmers is the supposed loss that they will accrue if they embrace sustainable farming. But that couldn’t be further from the truth as there are actually different ways to make your farm more sustainable that are cost-effective and will yield results. We have taken the time to highlight the different methods to make your farm more sustainable. Read on!

Crop Rotation/Intercropping: Crop rotation is growing different crops on the same piece of land sequentially, while intercropping is growing two or more crops in the same space simultaneously. The benefit of this is to keep the land healthy because the factors that determine the choice of some of the crops grown is how effective they are in controlling pests and how beneficial they are to the land. So, some of the crops are grown mostly for their benefit to the farm and some, by choice or for commerce. Also, it is important, for intercropping especially, that the crops grown don’t compete with each other for space and resources. Basically, there is a lot to be put into consideration for both intercropping and crop rotation when selecting crops.

Integrated Farming: As the name implies, integrated farming means integrating two or more interrelated farming systems so they can all benefit from each other. So, integrated farming can mean a variety of things, ranging from combining technological and traditional methods and integrating livestock and crop farming. In this context, we are looking at integrating livestock and crops. This is a very effective sustainable farming method because the waste from the animals serve as healthy manure for the plants and the waste from the plants (leaves, especially) can serve as food for the animals.

Maximise Natural Resources: Maximising the natural resources available to you is a great way to make your farm more sustainable. There are usually natural alternatives for most artificial methods of farming. Maximise water, manure from animal waste, natural predators and parasites and other natural methods that will make the farm more sustainable and the farm produce fresh and healthy.

Integrated Pest Management: Integrated pest management is a process of managing and reducing pests through the use of biological, cultural and chemical practices. Using IPM, pesticides are only applied after all environmental-friendly options are exhausted and it is done based on recommended guidelines and only at targeted organisms. In this way, natural predators and parasites, as well as natural pesticides, are used to control pests before the introduction of artificial pesticides – under strict recommended guidelines – if the natural methods don’t work on all the pests.

Get The Right Equipment: You will probably have to do a lot more artificially to have a great harvest if you don’t have the right equipment. It is important to get equipment that will make it easy to apply natural methods to your farming and equipment that are durable and also reduces waste. Although some of the equipment might be expensive, it is an investment that you have to make. Think of it as being pound-wise because you will risk a lot more by buying the wrong equipment, no matter how cheap.

In conclusion, to make your farm more sustainable, you have to think long term. If you are fixated on the now, you will want to cut corners because the truth is, natural methods are actually slower. However, natural methods will keep your farmland healthy for years to come and it will give you a solid reputation among customers as a farm with organic farm produce.

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