Browsing Tag

Agriculture

Environment

How to Develop Climate-Smart Agriculture

February 26, 2020
climate smart agriculture

Climate change has become a worldwide topic of discussion lately, and for good reason. Scientists warn that we need to act fast and collaborate to mitigate the effects of climate change and start doing things differently to halt the speed of global warming. One of the broad ways to do that is called climate-smart agriculture (CSA).

What Is Climate-Smart Agriculture? 

Climate-smart agriculture uses a variety of techniques to increase the productivity levels of farmland while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating other positive changes to help the planet. For example, some ongoing projects falling under this umbrella focus on conserving water, reducing pesticides and promoting soil health and practicing agroforestry. 

 

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Environment

What Are the Objectives of Agricultural Policy and Why Do They Matter?

February 24, 2020
objectives of agricultural policy

Each year sees a new round of farm-based policies. Some laws are more effective than others, and not all meet expectations — however, the core objectives of agricultural policy matter. People are ultimately seeking better ways to run their farms and do business, and creating new rules can help.

Policies exist for everything from water management to native seed harvesting. Regulation is necessary for ensuring worker and animal wellness, proper cropping methods and much more. In an ideal world, a practical set of agricultural guidelines would keep operations running smoothly while putting all living beings as the top priorities. Until we reach that point, people will continue voicing their opinions about much-needed changes.

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Wildlife

The Importance of Animal Nutrition on the Farm

February 19, 2020
importance of animal nutrition

Running a farm is no easy feat. You might feel like your to-do list gets longer every day, but you’d never give up the joy you get from working your land and raising animals. It comes with a sense of pride that has fueled generations of families, cultivating small farms around the world.

Every farm has a slightly different purpose. You could grow a single crop and keep animals around for private use, like eggs and milk for your family. Animals could also be the sole purpose of your farm since they can make a significant profit if you raise them correctly.

If you have animals on your farm, don’t stop learning what you can do to help them. With the proper approach, you can feed your animals the food they need while maintaining or improving the sustainability of your farm. Here are five reasons why animal nutrition matters. 

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Environment

10 Benefits of Hydroponics vs. Traditional Farming

February 10, 2020
hydroponics vs. traditional farming

When was the last time you heard the phrase “hydroponics?” Maybe it was in the third season of the science fiction show “The Expanse,” which introduced a space botanist tasked with taking care of the hydroponic gardens Ganymede in orbit around Jupiter. While hydroponics might be integral to space travel, it’s quickly becoming important in modern agriculture as well. Here are 10 benefits of hydroponics over traditional farming. 

1. Water Use Is More Efficient

With hydroponics, you’re growing your plants in a water-based nutrient solution, but these systems use water more efficiently than any type of traditional farming and irrigation. They use up to 10 times less water than traditional agriculture because the majority of the water is captured and recycled, rather than being allowed to drain into the soil like you would with a regular farm plot or garden. 

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Wildlife

Should We Move Toward Biological Pest Control Methods?

February 7, 2020
biological pest control

If humans lacked effective ways to keep pests at bay, gardens and lawns would be overrun with unwanted visitors that could eat plants and trigger other undesirable effects. One method of interest is biological pest control. It centers on introducing living organisms that display predatory behaviors toward the pests rather than relying on chemicals to do the job.

Research shows there are many downsides to using non-biological pest control measures. For example, the chemicals pose dangers to kids and pets, and there are issues with the chemicals not reaching their intended targets. Additionally, ongoing use can cause resistance, requiring people to use more of a product to get the same results once achievable with a smaller amount. 

When methods of getting rid of nature’s nuisances prove ineffective, agricultural professionals often waste money when, perhaps, they should have investigated different options sooner. A study from the Zoological Society of London recently found that the overuse of an herbicide to control a weed that harms winter-wheat fields takes a £400 million bite out of the United Kingdom’s economy every year. 

Since the conventional ways of pest management have these negatives and others, more people wonder if now is the time to embrace biological pest controls. 

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Green Technology

How Agricultural Transportation Can Be More Sustainable

January 29, 2020
agricultural transportation

Vehicles are convenient and often irreplaceable in agricultural operations. But they’re also energy-intensive and pollution-heavy despite all the good they do in streamlining processes. Many companies target food production when greening their supply chain, but not all of them focus on transportation with equal weight. 

Agricultural transportation doesn’t have to remain as unsustainable as it currently is, however. Cleaner options exist for shipping goods without harming our atmosphere or water sources. The incentives for widespread adaptation are plenty — companies could have better products, healthier cattle and trustworthy reputations. Eco-friendly shipping affects every part of the supply chain.

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Environment

The Rise of Women in Agriculture

January 27, 2020
women in agriculture

The history of women in agriculture is one that not many people discuss. Research shows that since about 10,000 B.C., women have played a part in how we source and harvest our food. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much data on them – in some ways, they’re silent contributors. The number of female farmers surged during the 1940s, as men went off to fight in World War II. As of 2019, more than 1.2 million female producers were working on farms across America. 

Modern History

Women have helped maintain fields and crops since the turn of the 19th century. By the end of the Second World War, more than six million vacant farm jobs had been filled by young people and women alike. This happened across all industries in the United States. Almost every daughter, wife and friend jumped in where needed – some became engineers to work on radio transmission, while others found themselves in factories. Many of the women in agriculture during this time were apart of the Women’s Land Army of America, a program that provided training and uniforms. 

When men came back from overseas, they reclaimed their previous positions. This meant that most women returned to childcare, education or administrative support duties. That said, by the late 1990s, the number of female farmers began to grow drastically — and it still continues to do so even despite the upswing in autonomous technology on farms. This is due to both changes in the U.S. Census and the destigmatization of what employment means. Women in modern times are more likely to call themselves “farmers” than in years past for these reasons.

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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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Green Technology

What Is Agtech and Why Should Farmers Be Investing in It

January 20, 2020
what is agtech

Agriculture is one of the main sectors where automation is becoming more prevalent. From driverless tractors to robotic strawberry harvesters, technology is changing farming. The debate over whether this new tech is good or bad wears on. One thing is certain, though — as the planet faces new challenges posed by extreme weather, climate change and a growing population, agtech will only continue to grow more popular. The best thing for farmers to do, then, is invest in it. 

What Is Agtech?

Agtech is a relatively new industry that applies modern technology to agriculture. It also encompasses diverse solutions to steps within the food production process. This industry can be broken down into three subcategories — tech-assisted farming, new farming and revolutionary farming. 

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