Are all types of farming and ranching sustainable?
A. Do all types of farmers and ranchers care about sustainability?
The vast majority of farmers and ranchers operating all types and sizes believe sustainability is their business. If they don’t take care of the land or their animals, their business will not flourish. A report released by Field to Market and the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture demonstrates how six commodity crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, rice and potatoes) are being produced more efficiently in the U.S. than they were 30 years ago, accompanied by important improvements in farm safety and economic sustainability for producers.
B. How do today’s farms measure up to yesterday’s farms in terms of sustainability?
According to the Field to Market Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, many commodity crops are being grown much more sustainably than 30 years ago. Some examples for corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, rice and potatoes from the study include:
- Soil erosion per unit of production has improved by between 47 and 67 percent (over 30 years)
- Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production have decreased between 15 and more than 42 percent for all crops (over 30 years)
- Improvements in efficiency were driven, at least in part, by improvements in yield for all crops, ranging from 25 percent to 64 percent (over 30 years)
C. Examples of producing more while using less
How To Care for 7,000 Pigs: http://youtu.be/yBqcm-jNxSI
Modern dairy practices require considerably fewer resources than dairying in 1944. Today farmers are using just 21 percent of the animals, 23 percent of feedstuffs, 35 percent of water and 10 percent of the land required to produce the same amount of milk.
How To Milk 1,200 Cows: http://youtu.be/H4nYvLbJZ_A
How To Use Trash to Help Crops Grow: http://youtu.be/GOdhYN0O-zM
How To Collect Eggs: http://youtu.be/IiRFYZKuHTE