We are borrowing non-renewable resources from past and future generations to support this one. That is the very opposite of sustainable agriculture.
Climate change is a huge challenge facing society, and dairy farms are often pointed at as having a large carbon footprint.
The goal is to restore agricultural soils to a healthy state – every farm is different, but the principles always apply.
Sufficient, good quality pasture is fundamental to sustainable pasture-based dairy farming, hence the importance of optimal grazing management.
The relationship between plants and water is delicate. Too little water can lead to plant stress, resulting in wilting. Too much can lead to risk of pathogen infection and loss of nutrients supporting the plant via leaching.
Rebecca Burgess, founder of the Fibershed project says that, “our soils have a carbon debt; the atmosphere is gushing with carbon. The carbon over our heads is literally in the wrong place” and this couldn’t be truer.
True sustainable, regenerative agriculture will reverse the negative impact of conventional agriculture and result in sustainable food production.
These are some questions I was asked by a farmer in the Tsitsikamma the other day about legumes and root nodules.
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil provide an opportunity for farmers to tap into the huge amounts of nitrogen which are just sitting in the atmosphere, waiting to be unlocked.
The amazing thing is that all these ecosystem services support greater agricultural production. They can only be unlocked when the soil is viewed as a valuable natural resource that needs to be conserved.