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Title: Sustainability%20read%20What%20is%20Sustainable%20Agriculture

Sustainabilityread What is Sustainable
  • AGST 3000
  • Agriculture, Society and
  • the Natural World

Other Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • Find another website that includes the use of
    sustainability on an international basis

  • Sustainability Meeting needs without
    compromising future generations.
  • Sustainable Agriculture A commitment to satisfy
    human food and fiber needs and to enhance the
    quality of life for farmers and society as a
    whole, now and into the future.

  • Agriculture is often viewed as consisting of
    three types of systems economic, ecological and
    social. Sustainable improvement in agriculture
    usually thought of in terms of farm
    profitability, environmental stewardship and
    quality of life for farm families and rural
  • must be based on these interlocking aspects of

Integrates three main goals
  • 1. Environmental health
  • 2. Economic profitability
  • 3. Social economic equity

Common Themes in Sustainability
  • Stewardship of natural human resources
  • A systems approach from the individual farm, to
    the local ecosystem, to the communities affected
    (locally and globally)
  • A long term perspective preservation of the
    land for future generations
  • Idea of process, continual change, modification
    (replicating nature)
  • Shared responsibility among all participants in
    the system

In class paperreact to the following
  • The following is a short excerpt on Sustainable
    Agriculture from recent publications from the
    Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food
    Canada entitled
  • The health of our soils toward sustainable
    agriculture in Canada

IntroductionL.J. Gregorich
  • Most people know that they need clean air and
    clean water to stay healthy. Fewer people
    realize that their well-being also depends on the
    health of another component of our environment
    the soil. Soil supports the growth of most of
    our food and fibre, so its productivity is a
    major factor in the economics of Canada and other
    nations. But it also has a much broader role
    globally. Soil acts as a filter, cleaning air
    and water. It exchanges gases with the
    atmosphere and thus influences global climate.
    Soil receives organic wastes and recycles their
    nutrients back to plants it also holds and
    breaks down some toxic wastes. Because soil
    plays such a key role in world health, economies,
    and environmental stability, we must conserve it
    and use it in a sustainable manner.

  • The most important link between farming practices
    and sustainable agriculture is the health, or
    quality, of our agricultural soils. If soil
    becomes degraded, more resources in terms of
    time, money, energy, and chemicals will be needed
    to produce less-abundant crops of a lower
    quality, and the goals of sustainable agriculture
    will not be met. On the other hand, if soil
    degradation is reversed and soil health is
    maintained or improved by using appropriate
    farming methods, sustainable agriculture can be a

Sustainable Agriculture Goals
  • Sustainable agriculture is a way of farming that
    can be carried out for generations to come. This
    long-term approach to agriculture combines
    efficient production with the wise stewardship of
    the earths resources. It is hoped that, over
    time, sustainable agriculture will do the
  • Meet human needs for food and fibre
  • Protect the natural resource base and prevent the
    degradation of soil and water quality
  • Use nonrenewable resources efficiently
  • Use natural biological cycles and controls
  • Assure the economic survival of farming and the
    well-being of farmers and their families

Examples of sustainable agricultural management
  • Reduce reliance on pesticides and nonrenewable
    energy sources.
  • Increase reliance on internal cycling use local
  • Conserve wild habitat to preserve biological
    stability enhance biological diversity.
  • Preserve air quality reduce burning, dust,
    pesticide drift.

Examples of sustainable agricultural management
practices continued
  • Select species varieties that are resistant to
    pests diseases well suited to site
  • Diversify crops and cultural practices to enhance
    the farms biological and economic stability
  • Manage soil as a living resource
  • Conserve soil protect it from erosion
  • Manage water to improve conservation storage,
    reduce salinity and protect ground water from

Current challenges facing Californias farmers
  • Conservation of agricultural resources
  • Quality of ground surface waters
  • Dependence on nonrenewable, petroleum-based
  • Health and safety of farm workers
  • Rising production costs
  • Dwindling water allocations
  • Fewer chemical pest control options
  • Low farm gate prices

Related Areas and Specific Strategies
  • Farming and Natural Resources
  • Water
  • Supply and use
  • Quality
  • Wildlife
  • Energynonrenewable sources
  • Air Quality
  • Soil Quality and Erosion

Related Areas and Specific Strategies cont
  • Plant Production Practices
  • Selection of site, species, variety
  • Diversity
  • Soil Management
  • Efficient use of Inputs
  • Consideration of Farmer Goals and Lifestyle

Related Areas and Specific Strategies cont
  • Animal Production Practices
  • Diversified crop and livestock operations of the
  • Management Planning
  • Animal Selection
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Reproduction
  • Health
  • Grazing Management
  • Confined Livestock Production

Related Areas and Specific Strategies cont
  • Economic, Social, and Political Context
  • Food and Agricultural Policy
  • Land Use
  • Labor
  • Rural Community Development
  • Consumers and the Food System

Global Issues Concerning Sustainability
  • 1. Population - Dampen growth and stabilize size
  • 2. Biological base - Conserve and restore soil,
    water, flora, and fauna
  • 3. Energy - Minimize/phase out fossil fuels
  • 4. Economic efficiency - Creation of an economy
    that functions like an ecosystem (ie. reduce
    waste, maximize recycling)

Global Issues Concerning Sustainability continued
  • 5. Social norms - Compatible with natural,
    technical and flexible centralization
  • 6. Culture - Individualism would be tempered
    with communitarianism
  • 7. World order - Transformation of the global
    investment and world trade to support sustainable

  • Given our discussion today and the readings
  • Define Sustainable Agriculture in your own words
  • Describe how todays agriculture industry is
    employing concepts of Sustainable Agriculture and
    what are major benefits for now and in the
  • Do you believe that sustainability is only an
    issue for agriculture ? Why or Why Not?
  • What are the challenges facing Valley Agriculture
    in adopting Sustainable practices?
  • Which of the various concepts/examples of SA do
    you feel have the greatest potential and why?
  • How important do you think this issue is and why?