Environmental stewardship is an important pillar of agricultural sustainability

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One of the important take away points of the day was that this generation (producers, retailers, consumers) needs to understand and appreciate that they have in their hands the opportunity to ask questions, come up with solutions and create awareness across the world about why stewarding the environment is crucial.

Soil Biology,the engineers in the soil

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Microorganisms like fungi and bacteria use the carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients in organic matter as food in order to obtain energy to survive. Microscopic soil animals like protozoa, amoebae, nematodes, and mites feed on the organic matter, fungi, bacteria, and each other for the same purpose.

What lies beneath the surface…

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Have you ever wondered what is going on beneath your soil? Do a basic visual soil assessment and compare it to the sustainability indicators in order to predict when soil quality starts deteriorating.

Cows might actually be part of the solution

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When livestock farmers manage their pasture soils in a manner that supports soil health, in association with good grazing management practices, the result is soil that has the ability to convert carbon dioxide and methane gas into stable forms of carbon in the soil.

The role that farmers play

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There is also a responsibility to being a land manager. Farmers are in a position to be stewards of the land that they manage.

Carbon footprint of a farm, why does it matter?

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Every farmer that I have presented a carbon footprint of their farm to has expressed a desire to reduce it over time. One of the main reasons for this is because a carbon footprint is actually an indicator of broader farm sustainability.

So how do you actually go about building carbon in soil?

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The carbon in plants is then transferred to the soil when plant roots and vegetation die and are incorporated into the soil by microorganisms in the soil.

Should farmers concern themselves with biodiversity conservation?

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The majority of land in South Africa is owned by farmers. This makes farmers the true stewards of South Africa’s land.

Do you know how much food your cows require?

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Our philosophy about sustainable agriculture is about limiting inputs from outside a farm system to what is strictly necessary. One of the inputs that is often over-imported, wastefully so, is feed.

The impact of Gypsum on sodic soils

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Do you have large cracks in your soil? This could be the result of excess sodium. Read this blog to see the positive impact of gypsum application on excess sodium and an improvement in soil structure.