Sustainability which here can be termed as the ability to sufficiently cater to the needs of the present society and also be successful in preserving the necessary resources for the benefit of the future. The idea of achieving this sustainability has crept into the farming practices in US, Canada and Australia and is increasingly becoming significant.
Sustainable farming practices in US:
In United States the sustainable farming practices are attempt to get as compatible as we can with the planet’s eco-system. They help reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and costs and are majorly eco-friendly.
Four major approaches to sustainable farming practices in US have been established.
Organic Farming: This form of sustainable farming emerged as an alternative to chemical agriculture in the 1940s. The publications of J.I. Rodale in the U.S., Lady Eve Balfour in England, and Sir Albert Howard in India have been instrumental in the development of organic farming in the US.
1) : This method of sustainable farming in US first evolved in Europe in the 1920s. Austrian anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner’s lectured played a vital role in the development of this practice. Besides complementing organic farming in many ways this method also emphasises on the involvement and integration of animals in the nutrient cycle, creating awareness of spiritual forces in nature, highlighting the importance of crop plating dates.
A certification for food and feed completely by biodynamic methods is called Demeter(tm).
2) Biological farming: This method of sustainable farming practices in US has grown largely among farmers using the Reams fertility system for crop production. This method is also known as eco-agriculture. Biological farming includes the usage of selected chemical fertilizers and aims t adopting low-input approach to insecticides.
3) Nature farming: This method of sustainable farming practices in US was developed by Mokichi Okada in the 1930s in Japan. In addition to the major principles of organic farming, this method specially emphasises ion soil health through composts.
Sustainable farming practices in Canada
Organic farming is a major trend in the sustainable farming practices in Canada, emerged in 1950s developed later in the 19702. In the wake of the increasing support and need of sustainable farming practices in Canada, organic farming which has its roots in the principles laid by Rudolf Steiner is successful in pioneering healthier food in Canada.
Organic food gets certified by regulatory bodies and this helps it sell as ’organic’. Farmers still face hurdles such as adaption to the new culture of farming.
Sustainable farming practices in Australia.
Like other countries sustainable farming practices in Australia will enhance the quality of food and fibre and promote eco-friendly usage of air, water and soil.
A number of projects in Australia are working towards enriching sustainable farming practices. These include
1) Soil acidification project
2) The Remnant Woodland project
Both of these are funded by Care for our Country organisation.
Major threats to sustainable farming practices in Australia are:
1) Loss of bio-diversity: which is caused by the modern age agricultural methods
2) Dry land sanity: this is a major threat to sustainable farming practices in Australia as 2.5 million hectares of land is affected by this.
3) Acid soils: Another major threat to sustainable farming practices in Australia as 33million hectares of land is affected.
4) Pests and weeds: Pests can be a major concern to sustainable farming practices as well. Integrated pest management strategies help in preventing the same.
Sustainable farming practices in Australia will be an answer to the most complex issues and will help in protecting soil, water, land , crop and help in reducing costs in agriculture and thus in a way giving back to the environment.