There are numerous practices that farmers can implement which will contribute to biodiversity conservation.
Sustainability is more often about the process, than it is about achieving specific goals and then moving on to something different. There is always room for improvement, and opportunity to become more sustainable.
In order to get the desired amount and quality of milk, cows need healthy pastures to graze on.
Here is a short description of what we do to improve the benefit that farmers derive from our research. There is an example used of a course attended in order to broaden our knowledge.
As to whether effluent is a waste or a benefit, depends entirely on how you, the farmer, use it.
What the cow is fed has a great impact on the amount and quality of milk it produces. What does choosing milk produced from pasture-fed cows mean for you, the consumer, and for your health?
“The soil is the only stomach that the plant has”. I had never thought of soil in this manner before, and found it to be an interesting perspective.
“As farmers, we are stewards of the land. It is our responsibility to ensure that as caretakers we treat it with respect and leave it in a better condition for future generations” – Bonnen Biggs, Suiderland Farm
Water stewardship is defined as being the use of freshwater that is “socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site and catchment-based actions”.
If farmers could challenge themselves and stop applying excessive nutrients in the form of fertiliser, especially N, and rather focus on building soil carbon, that would force the soil organisms to start working (mineralise organic matter) for their own nutrients.