Sustainability read What is Sustainable Agriculture… AGST 3000 Agriculture,
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Sustainability read What is Sustainable Agriculture… http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/concept.htm http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/concept.htm AGST 3000 Agriculture, Society and the Natural World
Other Websites… http://www.uwex.edu/ces/susag/UWEX/ frameuwex.html http://www.uwex.edu/ces/susag/UWEX/ frameuwex.html http://wsare.usu.edu/docs/basics.htm Find another website that includes the use of sustainability on an international basis
Defined… Sustainability – Meeting needs without compromising future generations. Sustainable Agriculture – A commitment to satisfy human food and fiber needs and to enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole, now and into the future.
THE BASIS OF SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS Agriculture is often viewed as consisting of three types of systems: economic, ecological and social. Sustainable improvement in agriculture – usually thought of in terms of farm profitability, environmental stewardship and quality of life for farm families and rural communities – must be based on these interlocking aspects of agriculture.
Integrates three main goals… 1. Environmental health 2. Economic profitability 3. Social & economic equity
Common Themes in Sustainability Stewardship of natural & human resources A systems approach … from the individual farm, to the local ecosystem, to the communities affected (locally and globally) A long term perspective – preservation of the land for future generations Idea of process, continual change, & modification (replicating nature) Shared responsibility among all participants in the system
In class paper…react to the following The following is a short excerpt on Sustainable Agriculture from recent publications from the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada entitled: “The health of our soils: toward sustainable agriculture in Canada”
Introduction L.J. Gregorich Most people know that they need clean air and clean water to stay healthy. Fewer people realize that their well-being also depends on the health of another component of our environment – the soil. Soil supports the growth of most of our food and fibre, so its productivity is a major factor in the economics of Canada and other nations. But it also has a much broader role globally. Soil acts as a filter, cleaning air and water. It exchanges gases with the atmosphere and thus influences global climate. Soil receives organic wastes and recycles their nutrients back to plants; it also holds and breaks down some toxic wastes. Because soil plays such a key role in world health, economies, and environmental stability, we must conserve it and use it in a sustainable manner.
The most important link between farming practices and sustainable agriculture is the health, or quality, of our agricultural soils. If soil becomes degraded, more resources in terms of time, money, energy, and chemicals will be needed to produce less-abundant crops of a lower quality, and the goals of sustainable agriculture will not be met. On the other hand, if soil degradation is reversed and soil health is maintained or improved by using appropriate farming methods, sustainable agriculture can be a reality.
Sustainable Agriculture Goals Sustainable agriculture is a way of farming that can be carried out for generations to come. This long-term approach to agriculture combines efficient production with the wise stewardship of the earth’s resources. It is hoped that, over time, sustainable agriculture will do the following: Meet human needs for food and fibre Protect the natural resource base and prevent the degradation of soil and water quality Use nonrenewable resources efficiently Use natural biological cycles and controls Assure the economic survival of farming and the well- being of farmers and their families
Examples of sustainable agricultural management practices Reduce reliance on pesticides and nonrenewable energy sources. Increase reliance on internal cycling – use local inputs Conserve wild habitat to preserve biological stability & enhance biological diversity. Preserve air quality – reduce burning, dust, pesticide drift.
Examples of sustainable agricultural management practices continued… Select species & varieties that are resistant to pests & diseases – well suited to site Diversify crops and cultural practices to enhance the farm’s biological and economic stability Manage soil as a living resource Conserve soil & protect it from erosion Manage water to improve conservation & storage, reduce salinity and protect ground water from contamination
Current challenges facing California’s farmers… Conservation of agricultural resources Quality of ground surface waters Dependence on nonrenewable, petroleum- based inputs Health and safety of farm workers Rising production costs Dwindling water allocations Fewer chemical pest control options Low farm gate prices
Related Areas and Specific Strategies Farming and Natural Resources Water Supply and use Quality Wildlife Energy…nonrenewable sources Air Quality Soil Quality and Erosion
Plant Production Practices Selection of site, species, variety Diversity Soil Management Efficient use of Inputs Consideration of Farmer Goals and Lifestyle Related Areas and Specific Strategies cont…
Animal Production Practices Diversified crop and livestock operations of the past Management Planning Animal Selection Animal Nutrition Reproduction Health Grazing Management Confined Livestock Production Related Areas and Specific Strategies cont…
Economic, Social, and Political Context Food and Agricultural Policy Land Use Labor Rural Community Development Consumers and the Food System Related Areas and Specific Strategies cont…
Global Issues Concerning Sustainability 1. Population - Dampen growth and stabilize size 2. Biological base - Conserve and restore soil, water, flora, and fauna 3. Energy - Minimize/phase out fossil fuels 4. Economic efficiency - Creation of an economy that functions like an ecosystem (ie. reduce waste, maximize recycling)
Global Issues Concerning Sustainability continued… 5. Social norms - Compatible with natural, technical and flexible centralization 6. Culture - Individualism would be tempered with communitarianism 7. World order - Transformation of the global investment and world trade to support sustainable agriculture
Journal Given our discussion today and the readings… Define Sustainable Agriculture in your own words Describe how today’s agriculture industry is employing concepts of Sustainable Agriculture and what are major benefits for now and in the future? Do you believe that sustainability is only an issue for agriculture ? Why or Why Not? What are the challenges facing Valley Agriculture in adopting Sustainable practices? Which of the various concepts/examples of SA do you feel have the greatest potential and why? How important do you think this issue is and why?