Agriculture Will See Increased Conservation Efforts in 2018
The upcoming generation of farmers and ranchers in the United States and abroad face concerns and challenges that their parents and predecessors never faced.
The agricultural industry no longer only pertains to growing food, nurturing livestock or working the land. These days, environmentalism, health and even science and technology hold significance.
Agriculture as a whole has continued to grow in importance — becoming a global concern with great importance to the future of human ambition.
As one of the most important sectors in the economies of most nations, agriculture also provides a direct influence on the state of the planet’s environment. It’s no surprise, then, that agriculture will begin to play a greater role in conservation efforts in 2018.
The political drama surrounding the current Farm Bill serves as a real-world example of this growing significance. Any and all complaints against the bill do not extend toward its benefits, but rather its financial demands and government influence.
Examples of Conservation Agriculture
Major areas of conservation include soil, water and habitat conservation. All three areas have multiple methods of implementation to consider.
- Soil Conservation
Soil can be healthy and unhealthy just like flora and fauna. By protecting the soil and keeping it nourished, the plants that are grown within possess more nutrients that help the health of human bodies.
One way of preserving the health of soil includes the planting method of hydroseeding. Hydroseeding, or hydraulic mulch seeding, consists of using mulch or slurry to plant seed as a way of erosion control. This method of planting can restore vegetation in cleared land, populate a relatively large area in a short amount of time and cost less than planting with sod.
- Water Conservation
Preserving water has become a year-long concern, rather than a summertime practice as droughts in the U.S. and abroad grows more pronounced with every passing year. Farming practices such as drip irrigation, rotational grazing and dry farming are becoming the norm in more and more farms.
Planting certain crops that do not require an abundance of water — potatoes, millet or soybeans — provide harvest crops while also conserving as much water as possible. This type of preservation also helps save money on water spending, serving to enhance your operations long-run profitability.
- Habitat Conservation
Also known as wildlife-friendly farming or land sparing, an area’s natural habitat can be invaluable depending on the crops you decide to grow on the land. Not every area needs to be flattened, cleared or drained to grow healthy crops. Wetland farming may not produce the same type of crops as a traditional garden plot, but the harvest will be no less profitable or healthy.
Keeping the natural land as preserved as possible, you can also keep animal intrusion at bay from your property. By clearing land, we also reduce the territory of wild animals, and this can lead to flock endangerment and threats to human inhabitants as well.
The Benefits of the Farm Bill in 2018
How will the Farm Bill provide benefits? Here’s a look at a few of them:
- Keeping Farmers Competitive. More often than not, it’s the simplest reasons that make the greatest arguments. In this case, it’s that the farm bill helps farmers. The bill was designed to provide financial credit and protection against natural disasters, and it serves as a cushion against crop loss and unexpected setbacks. For 2018, this financial aid and protection help conservational efforts as well.
- Increasing Agriculture’s Value. Thanks to the economic benefits granted through the Farm Bill, farmers and ranchers are able to financially invest in their land and water sources. They can spend money on improving local water systems that provide drinking water for humans and animals.
- Helping Prepare for the Future. The current iteration of the Farm Bill supports the research and technology needed to expand the knowledge base of agriculture and help improve its productivity. This includes research in university and private labs as and ranges from studies in animal health, organic crop rotation and even biotechnology.
These benefits of the current Farm Bill are helpful additions in keeping agriculture profitable and preserving the land against any negative consequences of its practice.
The Importance of Conservation Agriculture
Agriculture serves to provide necessary and sustainable natural food resources, but the actual practice of farming consists of destruction and intrusion of the land. We overlook these destructive properties of farming because of the health benefits it provides, as well as the fact that the positive consequences outweigh the negatives.
The practice of Conservation Agriculture, or C.A., helps reduce and even eliminate the destructive aspects of farming and agriculture, replacing them with new and improved methods. These practices include conserving soil, preserving biodiversity and local wildlife, as well as implementing land sparing ideas.
For farmers and agriculturalists, conservation practices help reduce farming costs, increase crop yields, preserve the local environment and reduce the overall environmental effect of farming. For everyday consumers, the benefit in conservation not only extends to healthier foods, but to a healthier environment as well.
For the United States, the Farm Bill serves as an attempt to make these benefits and improvements a permanent and lawful aspect of the country and its citizens, granting government aid to those willing to make the necessary changes and implementations to their farmland and operations.
Citizens of less prosperous communities and countries can expect a greater availability of food without the need to shoulder greater financial burdens, while wealthier areas help preserve the planet, the planet’s resources and positively affect the health of the people. In the end, conservation helps something necessary — agriculture — become even more valuable.