Browsing Tag

Agriculture

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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Green Technology

Essential Farm Tools and Equipment for Starting Your Farm

January 17, 2020
farm tools and equipment

The journey it takes to start a farm is both difficult and long-winded. Prospective farmers have to create a business plan, find the right land and ensure they have the financial stability to make it all work. 

An essential part of this process is to consider the farm tools and equipment that allow everything to run smoothly. With all that’s on the market today, it’s tough to decide what’s best. Read on to discover a list of necessities that every farm, large or small, can’t operate without.

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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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Wildlife

The Complicated Relationship Between Agriculture and Wildlife

January 13, 2020
agriculture and wildlife

How many wild animals are killed by farming practices? While scientists know there’s a problem, they’re unable to pinpoint a precise figure.

Some of the biggest drivers of biodiversity decline include overexploitation — harvesting animals from the wild at rates that can’t replenish — and agriculture, which consists of the production of food, livestock farming, aquaculture, tree cultivation and more. 

According to experts, agriculture and the overexploitation of resources is a more significant risk to biodiversity than climate change. In fact, nearly 75% of the world’s threatened species face overuse, compared to only 19% affected by climate change. 

The Sumatran rhinoceros, for example — which people illegally hunt for its meat and horn — is one of 4,049 species threatened by this problem. Other animals that poachers target include the Western gorilla and Chinese pangolin. 

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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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