It has never been more important for agricultural businesses across the globe to assess their impact on the environment. The earlier a business evaluates its position in relation to sustainability, the easier it will be to formulate and implement long term plans that are sustainable for both the environment and the farmer. The following information provides guidance on what sustainable farming products can aid an arable agricultural business in becoming more environmentally sustainable.
It is a well-known fact that chemical fertilisers can cause a wide range of environmental problems and pose a threat to aquatic and terrestrial life. Water pollution, air pollution, acidification of soil, and mineral depletion of soil are some of the most common problems that come with the use of licensed fertilisers in arable farming.
Recent research into environmentally friendly fertilisers has found that such fertilisers play an important role in increasing soil nutrition and organic matter content as well as improving the water-holding capacity of the soil. Additionally, it has been found that hydrogel and superabsorbent coated environmentally fertilisers can buffer soil acidity or alkalinity which results in optimal PH for plant growth. In providing both environmental health and enhanced plant growth, such fertilisers are a practical way for farmers to consider both their own businesses and the environment. Environmental sustainability can easily remain in line with a farmer’s own plans to maintain a financially sustainable and productive business.
Alternatives to plastic mulch
As a result of recent developments in the production of farming equipment and materials, plastic mulch is no longer a necessity for suppressing weeds and conserving water levels in crop production. Instead, the product is an environmentally harmful option among an array of sustainable alternatives. Paper and organic mulches are widely available, as well as biodegradable plastic mulch if plastic-like characteristics are required. Biodegradable plastic mulch performs similarly to plastic mulch but without environmental degradation. Instead of removing the mulch at the end of the growing season, this alternative is able to decompose in the soil after tilling.
Natural pest management
For many of the same reasons as chemical fertilisers, commonly used pesticides should be considered for their harmful effects on the surrounding natural environment. Pesticides often release harmful chemicals both in use and in production. Measures can be taken by farmers to implement natural pest management in place of harmful pesticides wherever this is possible. Releasing or providing habitats for other non-invasive bug species can be highly beneficial if these other species will prey on those causing the issue.