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Environment

The Top Alternative Agriculture Methods You Should Be Aware Of

January 24, 2020
alternative agriculture methods

Agriculture or farming is something that might sound like it can only be accomplished on a massive industrial scale, but everyone can enjoy the benefits of growing their own food or raising their own livestock. However, for small-scale efforts, especially those that are concerned about the impact their farms will have on the environment, traditional agricultural methods aren’t going to be the best option. With that in mind, here are the top alternative agriculture methods you should be aware of. 

1. Organic Farming

The organic farming movement helps to prevent water pollution and other environmental damage while increasing yields. Some studies have shown that corn plants, grown organically, can produce up to 30% more corn than when grown traditionally. Not only are you getting more from your crop, but you’re accomplishing the same task without jeopardizing your local environment.  

Focus on truly organic farming methods rather than those that claim to be organic but rely on dangerous chemicals.  Many of the organic pesticides, such as pyrethrins, which are derived from dried chrysanthemum flowers, are just as toxic as the non-organic chemicals — and sometimes even more so.  

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Environment, Oceans

10 Water Conservation Techniques in Agriculture

January 22, 2020
water conservation techniques in agriculture

Water is essential for life, but it is also an integral part of modern agriculture. We often plant in areas that don’t receive enough annual rainfall to support the crops we need to grow to feed the country and the world. This is where irrigation techniques come in — but as with most things, they’re not all created equal. As the population grows and water becomes an even more valuable resource, conservation techniques will become a requirement in the agriculture industry. Here are 10 water conservation techniques you can use today, whether you’re seeding a farm or just growing a garden in your backyard. 

1. Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation isn’t a new concept, but as water conservation continues to grow in importance, it will likely gain popularity. Instead of irrigating the entire plant from above, drip irrigation uses pipes to drip water slowly onto the roots of the plants. This conserves between 20-50% of the water you would otherwise use in irrigation while reducing other negatives like runoff, surface evaporation and the potential for overwatering.

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Environment

Why Soil Quality and Health Are Key to Agriculture

January 15, 2020
soil quality and health

Every farm needs fertile soil to produce healthy crops. Soil quality and health is an essential factor in growing vegetables, plants, flowers and much more. Industrial and small farms survive off of quality earth, though each sector cultivates it through different methods. Commercial agriculture often consists of farming techniques that deplete the land, which can lead to failed crops. However, small farmers aren’t without their troubles — degraded soil affects them, too.

A better foundation equals increased plant growth. The solution to poor crops often lies with the simplest factor — dirt. Agriculture can improve by leaps and bounds by employing better ideas for soil management.

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Environment

Is GMO Crop Production on the Rise

January 10, 2020
gmo crops

Food scientists engineer genetically modified (GM) crops — often referred to as GMOs, or genetically modified organisms — for a variety of traits, like herbicide tolerance and drought resistance. Over the past few years, these crops have become an increasingly weighty topic as more farmers have begun to plant them — sometimes raising concerns about their long-term impacts on both human health and the environment.

Below, we’ll cover how GMO crop production is changing — whether it’s on the rise, its possible impacts on the environment and what new GM crops researchers are trying to develop right now.

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Environment

Sustainable Farming Methods for Crop Care

January 6, 2020
sustainable farming methods

Sustainable farming is beneficial for both the planet and crop yields. Agriculture is a booming industry, but despite its connection to nature, people don’t always associate it with environmentalism. Large-scale farming has taken sustainability out of agriculture by relying on monocrops, driving deforestation and causing pollution. Commercialized growing techniques produce full harvests in less time — but at the cost of local wildlife and natural resources.

Many farmers employ sustainable farming methods to combat the effects of industrial agriculture. Plenty of alternatives exist for managing a successful farm without harming the Earth that sustains it. Learning about these approaches is only part of the solution — the other half involves putting them to action.

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Environment

Can Recycling Be Used for Agricultural Waste Management?

January 3, 2020
agricultural waste

Composting has long been a solution for repurposing certain forms of organic agricultural waste. During the process, trash is converted to a usable material, most often fertilizer, which helps increase the yield of future crops.

However, organic waste is not the only type of refuse generated by agricultural operations. Chemical debris and contaminants are another concern, as farmers spray pesticides and other treatments to protect crops. Green waste comes from cleared land and exists as old trees, branches, weeds and even hedges. Various plastics and development materials — including concrete — can become waste after a time. Even the ground soil can become useless after multiple harvests deplete the nutrients, which is why crop rotation and rotational grazing are vital practices.

The term agricultural waste refers to any type of garbage, if you will, that’s generated as a byproduct of farming operations. While some of it is commonly recycled, dealing with it is an ever-growing business. As companies look to minimize their environmental impact and incorporate green, eco-friendly operations, they’ll need more constructive ways to recycle or reuse various waste products.

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Environment

Effects of Construction on the Environment: Why Sustainability Is at the Forefront

December 27, 2019
effects of construction on the environment

Sustainability means different things in each industry. In construction, it means building structures from long-lasting and renewable resources, ensuring energy-efficient operation once the structure is standing and practicing good stewardship of the landscape over the building’s lifetime.

Expanding and maintaining humanity’s “built environment” in a conscientious, low-impact and cost-effective way today means future generations will be able to meet their own needs tomorrow. But we need to put sustainability first. Here’s what that looks like in construction and why it’s so important right now.

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Environment

Eco-Friendly Building Materials We Can Expect to Grow in 2020

December 23, 2019

In today’s world, it’s impossible to go a week without hearing about climate change. Temperatures are rising, and extreme weather events are popping up. What’s the solution?

No single answer exists. Instead, the effort must involve a multitude of industries and technologies. In construction, businesses are turning to eco-friendly building materials to do their part.

The green building initiative has generated more than 2 million jobs, totaling more than $134 billion in labor earnings. It’s also injected billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.

Which materials can we expect to grow in the future wake of green building?

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Environment, Oceans

With the Rise of Sustainability, Will We See Suburban Water Change?

December 18, 2019
suburban water

Sustainability is becoming a popular topic around the world. Big consumer pushes over the past few years — like the movement to ban plastic straws — demonstrate that people will go out of their way to save the environment.

Some of the most significant sustainability challenges, however, don’t come from the places you expect. When you think about water pollution, the first image that comes to mind is a factory or power plant — wastewater flowing into a river or water source. Yet in much of the country, this image isn’t entirely accurate. The majority of water pollution today comes from the suburbs.

With the pivot towards sustainability, will customers bring eco-friendly habits home and reduce the pollution produced by suburban water use?

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Environment

What Can the Construction Industry Do to Decrease Habitat Destruction?

December 16, 2019
habitat destruction

Habitat destruction, the most significant ecological crisis we’re facing right now, is a problem for both humans and animals.

Construction — along with other land-clearing industries, like logging and agriculture — is a significant driver of destruction. Yet it doesn’t have to be. Companies can implement sustainable practices that preserve local environments, respect wildlife and minimize impact — all while staying on deadline.

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