New realisations as to the fragility of our natural resources means that farmers need to be more careful about their decisions than ever before. What to grow? How best to grow it? How to limit the impact on the soil and water? In an already dry and damaged continent like Australia, sustainable farming is the way of the future - but how do you go about it?
'Sustainable Agriculture' explains all the concepts of sustainability, from the basic ideas such as permaculture, biodynamics, organic farming, agroforestry, conservation tillage and integrated hydroculture, to complete plans for farm management and studying the long term benefits of sustainable systems.
Important issues such as monoculture versus polyculture are discussed. Problems such as land degradation and climatic changes are looked at within the context of their impact on agriculture. Drought, acid rain, salinity, chemical waste and toxicity are just a few of the other exigencies addressed, as well as water contamination, land clearing, soil erosion, and how to deal with pests. Water management is vital to maintaining a sustainable farm - there is plenty of information on water conservation, including the use, storage and recycling of water, water sources and various methods to improve quantity while retaining water quality. There is also advice on ways to reduce water loss.
There is information to aid farmers as they face new dilemmas and decisions such as whether to utilise hybrids. Selection criteria for plants and stock are given at length, as well as information on the available alternatives. Tips on which plant and animals take the most from the soil, which kinds are more drought tolerant, which require less maintenance, and, just as importantly, which plants and animals have less impact on the soil and other resources will prove invaluable to sustainable farmers.
There are sections devoted to preparing your farm for droughts and floods; finding alternative food sources for your stock, reducing production so as not to overload the property. There is even a plan to help you design a pest management system and the best ways to manage your crops, soils and livestock, to preserve their productivity for the future.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 10 / 1997
- 180 x 240mm