Two of the prominent aspects of sustainability are long-term profitability and environmental protection. Limiting chemical nitrogen fertiliser use to only what is very necessary contributes to both of these aspects.
Excessive use of chemical nitrogen fertiliser has a negative effect on soil life and soil structure. Yet there still seems to be a trend of farmers wanting, or feeling the need, to apply excessive chemical nitrogen fertiliser to pastures.
Every individual in society is reliant on agriculture for the food they eat. The choices that we, as consumers, make in what we buy, influences the demand which is created for certain products or brands.
Grass is abundant in the world, and is able to be grown sustainably for milk production. Pasture-fed cows are very efficiently converting a potentially useless form of nutrients into valuable food for people.
One of the challenges for farmers with regards to soil life is knowing whether the practices they are implementing are positively contributing to healthy soils, which are conducive to soil organisms flourishing. To this end we have been measuring various indicators of life in the soil.
Carbon footprints are an important tool providing insight on the environmental impact of an entity, but this case study is focussed on the role that a carbon footprint analyses can play in providing feedback to farmers on their farm productivity.
There is often a gap between what is known and what is practiced. It is called the knowing-doing gap and I think this gap is especially prevalent in agriculture.
It is important that all employees on a farm are treated fairly and justly, and that their welfare and success are taken into account within their work environment. Farmers, and their well-being, are important. They are the people whose time, energy and effort results in food production for the rest of society.
There are many different food sources of protein. Of these, milk contains the highest quality of protein. It seems as though milk, and milk products, could offer a great solution to protein demand, especially with regards to quality, in the developing world.
Animal welfare is therefore linked to sustainability in that looking after your animals will ensure less need for external inputs.