5 Tools and Tips You’ll Need to Use For More Sustainable Farming
Did you know that despite requiring 2.5 times more labor compared to conventional farming, sustainable farming yields ten times more profit? Sustainable farming has become a buzzword in the agriculture industry as more and more people are going green and embracing climate change.
Although sustainable farming might look different, it’s certainly the way to go, and if you have been considering going that route, you’re making a wise decision. Many ranchers and growers across the country are already implementing it and finding great success while at it.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the best sustainable farming strategies and tools to help you with a great start.
1. Practice Crop Diversity and Crop Rotation
Crop rotation and diversity is a sustainable farming strategy that has been used for centuries by farmers across the globe. It’s one of the best ways to keep the soil healthy and prevent nutrient depletion as it happens in monoculture farming. The beauty of crop rotation is that you get to plant multiple crops in different locations of your farm over a duration of several years, which helps replenish the nutrients in the soil.
Beyond that, crop rotation prevents diseases, since most of them attack single crops. If planting different types of crops is not possible for you, you can plant a diverse variety of the same species, which prevents both pest and disease problems.
2. Cover Crops and Reduce Tilling
During off-seasons, planting cover crops is a sustainable farming strategy. Use crops like clovers and hairy vetch because they build the health and strength of the soil by replenishing it with nutrients. They also prevent soil erosion and hinder weeds, which essentially eliminates the need for herbicides when planting crops again.
The next best method of preserving soil is by utilizing no-till methods. This entails inserting seeds into unploughed land, which may sound unorthodox, but it works because it prevents soil erosion.
3. Use Beneficial Animals and Insects
A wide range of crops attract insects and birds or bats, some of which play a vital role in destroying critters that may damage crops. This means the ultimate natural predator-prey relationship, which will enable you to avoid or reduce pesticides and other chemicals that cause ecological problems. This also means cost savings for you as well.
If implementing this animal strategy sounds like a great supplementary farming idea, you can go a step further and release other helpful insects like lacewings and ladybugs to control pest problems. You should do this by planting flowers that attract these insects along the edge of your fields, which will also retain bats and birds.
If you can ensure your farm has trees as well, especially around water bodies, you’ll not only prevent soil erosion but also prevent evaporation during the dry season.
4. Selling Directly to Local Consumers
A large part of greenhouse gases happen during transportation, and when you sell products locally, you eliminate a part of it. When you sell your produce to locals and in local markets, you’ll be more sustainable because apart from transport, and you’ll use less packaging. You can sell to restaurants, schools, retailers, food hubs, cooperatives, and more.
5. Managed Grazing
Managed grazing is just like crop rotation, but with animals. It involves moving your animals from pasture to pasture so they can graze on various plants. This ensures that all consume a healthy diet and get a wide range of nutrients. In turn, there’s less chance they’ll be exposed to infections and diseases. Besides, moving pasture is great for the soil as well.
Use the Right Sustainable Farming Tools
Technology is making farming more sustainable, faster, and better in various aspects. Farmers are using sustainable farming tools such as grain carts, grain conveyors, and planters. With the rise of agriculture tech companies, sustainable farming equipment is catching up with the demand for modern sustainable farming.
Let’s take a look at some of the tools you can use on your farm.
1. Grain Carts
Grain carts are some of the best sustainable farming inventions because they speed up harvests without compacting the soil. They’re also very easy to use in muddy areas, and they increase productivity. When shopping for a grain cart, consider the size of your combined train tank, the size of the tractor pulling the cart, and your projected future growth so you can get the right size.
2. Grain Conveyors
Grain conveyors are super-efficient in transporting bulk agricultural products like soybeans and corn. When harvesting your produce, you need to transport it to your trucks and from trucks to the processing area and possibly several other places before the final destination. An automated transport system may be one of the best things you have on your farm, and grain conveyors are a perfect solution.
3. Row Planters
Row planters are exactly what they sound like, and they make planting so much easier, especially if you have a large farm. Some of their benefits include increased yield, reduced labor costs, soil moisture control, excellent soil erosion control, and they help build soil health and structure. This is everything you need for sustainable farming.
Hand tools have always been some of the best for sustainable farming, and if you need to fence your farm, an auger may be the best tool for the job. Digging post holes is not an easy feat, but augers can speed up the process. There are several types to consider, going from handheld augers to tractor-mounted augers, and it all depends on the size of your farm.
5. Strip Tills
Strip tills can be great sustainable farming tools. They dry out wet soils, warm up cool soils, ease soil compaction, and only apply fertilizer when needed. Fertilizer is incorporated during strip tillage for better seed placement because the seeds get directly in loosed soil.
The Best Tools and Tips for Sustainable Farming
There you have it! These are some of the best tips and tools you need for sustainable farming.
Do you find sustainable farming interesting and something you would do? Would you like to find the best sustainable farming tools and equipment? Please get in touch with us for a quote or check out our website for more information.