Farming is a great career because it provides meaningful, worthwhile work. There are few jobs out there that are as noble as helping to feed the global community. With that being said, there are certain farming practices that are more beneficial than others. To feel like you’re really doing the best you can for society, you’ll want to make sure your farm is run responsibly. Here’s how to ensure you’re using sustainable, socially-beneficial methods.
Rotate Your Crops
In order to sustainably grow crops without excessive use of fertilizers, it’s important that you rotate your crops every year. Make sure you research what crop rotation patterns are most effective for whatever types of crops you’re planning on cultivating. Diversifying your crops is also a great way to get the most out of your soil in an organic, harmless way.
Avoid Adverse Effects on Local Landscape
Responsible growers respect the fact that their farms are part of a vast, pre-existing landscape. If you want your farm to be sustainable and responsible, you need to do your best to avoid harming the surrounding environment. Make sure you treat uncultivated portions of your property with respect, since they’ll provide the erosion control and natural buffer that you need to make your farm successful.
Use Pesticides Responsibly
Pests are a constant problem for anyone involved in agriculture. There’s no doubt that you need to keep pests away from your crops, but it is vital that you do so in a responsible manner. Mechanical and biological control methods can reduce your reliance on chemical pesticides. When chemicals are absolutely necessary, make sure you’re applying them in a responsible manner. Consider signing up for a TDA pesticide applicator course to educate yourself on best practices.
Use Cover Crops Instead of Herbicides
While chemical weed killers might be necessary at times, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Cover crops can help control your fields when your main crops aren’t in season, preventing or at least limiting weed growth. This is a natural and easy way to keep your chemical use to a minimum. This method has the added benefit of providing another source of income.
Responsible farmers take the time to make sure they’re engaging in sustainable agricultural practices. It’s on you to do the research and make the effort to do things right. Take these methods into account as you devise your sustainable agricultural model.