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TAYLORVILLE — Sustainable agriculture is an approach to farming that will allow modern farmers to meet the needs of a growing population while enhancing environmental quality. That can benefit both current and future generations, and technology will play a vital role in realizing the goals of sustainable agriculture.
According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, sustainable agriculture is designed to meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. That’s a worthy goal, especially in the face of a growing global population that the United Nations estimates will increase by two billion persons by 2050.
There are numerous benefits to utilizing sustainable agriculture technology, which can be especially advantageous to modern farmers.
Efficient land management
Modeling technologies can be utilized to make more efficient use of land. According to Sustainable Brands, a global community of brand innovators, modeling technologies can be employed in a host of ways, including to identify tillage practices and the status of tile drainage. Certain agricultural technologies have been designed to predict the performance of cropland, which can allow farmers to more effectively and efficiently use their land. Farmers also can employ modeling technologies to determine soil health and water needs and usage, which can benefit the land and ensure resources aren’t wasted. Utilization of such technologies ensures farmers can meet the needs of modern consumers without affecting future farmers’ ability to do the same.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that runoff poses a significant threat to the environment. When runoff occurs, fertilizer, bacteria and other pollutants find their way into streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Sustainable Brands notes that nanotechnology is an efficient way to deliver nutrients to crops that can improve both the efficacy of the nutrients and reduce runoff.
Sustainable Brands notes that agricultural biologicals are inputs derived from natural materials that have low toxicity. That low toxicity reduces their environmental impact. Agricultural biologicals utilize the properties of such things as bacteria, fungi and even insects to support healthy crops, potentially improving yield without adversely affecting the environment.
Sustainable agriculture technologies can help modern farmers and their successors meet the needs of a rapidly growing global population.