The Effects of Farming on Environmental Sustainability

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Environmental Impacts of Farming

Unsustainable agricultural practices present the greatest immediate threat to the environment around the world. The main things that are being affected in our environment today are our water and soil. While there are many threats to water quality, changing our agricultural practices is one way to improve water quality and reduce pollution in the environment around farms.

This can be done be recycling grey water and not always dumping waste water back into fresh water sources. Also by recycling grey water one does not deplete their water source and has helped the environment by not putting harmful chemicals in the grey water back into the fresh water. The primary strategy that farmers are using to improve their soil health is planting a diversity of cover crops.

One other way a farmer can help reduce destruction to their soil environment is by using Best Management Practices. However some see this as betting against themselves, by using fewer fertilizers and reducing the tilling, farmers hope to acquire the same yields as if they had used more fertilizers and tilled more. But if the bet pays off they have reduce the soil depletion in the environment allowing for the farm to reap the benefits in future years. Here at Agrilicious we believe that Sustainable agricultural practices are what are best for our food, environment and our bodies.

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Environmental Sustainability - Sustainable and Biodynamic Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture is a system that utilizes an understanding of natural processes along with the latest scientific advances to create integrated, resource-conserving farming systems. It integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and prosperous farming communities. These systems will reduce environmental degradation, are economically viable, maintain a stable rural community, and provide a productive agriculture in both the short and the long term.

Biodynamic Agriculture uses organic practices such as crop rotation and composting, with special plant, animal and mineral preparations. Production practices are done according to the rhythms found in nature. Based on the work of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, this method of farming is rooted in a holistic understanding of nature. It involves treating the farm and the soil as living organisms that need to be nourished and replenished, as well as used for their resources.

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Benefits of Cover Crops

• Reduce fugitive nutrients entering lakes and waterways

• Suppress weeds

• Break up compacted soil (caused by heavy equipment)

• Retain moisture

• Sequester carbon dioxide, countering the effects of global warming

Symphony of the Soil, 2012, Deborah Koons

Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil

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Vanishing of the Bees, 2009, Maryam Henein

This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film examines our current agricultural landscape and celebrates the ancient and sacred connection between man and the honeybee. The story highlights the positive changes that have resulted due to the tragic phenomenon known as "Colony Collapse Disorder." To empower the audience, the documentary provides viewers with tangible solutions they can apply to their everyday lives. Vanishing of the Bees unfolds as a dramatic tale of science and mystery, illuminating this extraordinary crisis and its greater meaning about the relationship between humankind and Mother Earth. The bees have a message - but will we listen?

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What is Organic Farming?

The USDA defines organic agriculture as "a production system that is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity."

Many organic farmers, including Wende Elliott and Joe Rude of Colo, Iowa, view organic production as a means to work with the environment and maintain the balance of their ecosystem. "Natural systems work hard if you incorporate biodiversity into your operation instead of fighting it," said Rude, who co-farms 125 acres of pastured poultry, corn, hay and alfalfa.

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