Importance of Sustainable Sourcing and How Technology Helps to Achieve This
Today, sustainable agriculture entails boosting agricultural crop production while maintaining the ecological resources in which they flourish. Gardeners and farmers have debated the clash between sustainable agriculture and energy crop cultivation technologies that allow bioenergy and biomass crops to be grown on agricultural land.
The consequences of rising oil prices and the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels, such as the release of toxic chemicals and climate change, have led to a surge in biomass crops over the previous few decades. However, large-scale biomass and second-generation biofuel production could significantly impact farm sustainability and food security. Let us see the importance of sustainability in agriculture and how technology helps to achieve it.
What is Sustainable Agriculture?
Agriculture frequently puts substantial strain on natural resources and the ecosystem. Sustainable agriculture practices try to preserve the environment, strengthen the earth’s natural resources, and protect and enhance soil fertility. Sustainable agriculture tries to achieve the following objectives through a multi-pronged approach:
• Increase agricultural revenue that is profitable.
• Encourage environmental responsibility.
• Improve farm families’ and communities’ quality of life
• Increase output to meet human food and fibre requirements.
Significance of Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable agriculture usually includes a wide range of agricultural approaches, including conventional and organic methods. A regionally integrated system of animals and plants production techniques intends to yield long-term outcomes such as:
• Production of enough human food, feed, fibre, and fuel to fulfil the demands of a rapidly growing population
• Protection of the environment and increase of the supply of natural resources
• Sustainable agriculture maintains agriculture systems’ economic viability.
Below points are the elements to achieve sustainable agriculture.
Components of Sustainability
There are several strategies to increase the sustainability of a particular farming system, and they differ by area. However, there are specific standard practices among farmers attempting to take a more sustainable approach, in part through increased use of on-farm or local resources, all of which contribute in some manner to long-term profitability, environmental stewardship, and rural quality of life.
Soil quality and health are important considerations because the soil is the most critical resource in agricultural production systems. Good soil management results in healthier crops and land, less prone to disease, and more productivity overall.
Although it appears to be everywhere, water is a valuable resource, so reducing losses from leaky pipes, reducing the amount of water used, collecting rainwater, and reusing water contribute to conserving our water supply, cutting costs, and enabling us to function efficiently in dry times.
It focuses on how crops interact with one other, the soil, and the environment rather than just introducing another crop or crop variety to an existing area. Because various crops require different types of nutrients from the soil, the biological variety of growing diverse crops aids in the agricultural growth of plants, animals, and microorganisms.
Sustainable crop rotation reduces soil erosion, weed management, and disease suppression while boosting soil biodiversity, water quality, and wildlife, increasing productivity and environmental sustainability. Crop rotation is also an important consideration when designing a home garden.
Crops use nutrients and soil amendments such as manure, legumes, and organic wastes to improve soil quality. While essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are required in relatively significant amounts by crops and vegetables, over usage of nutrients can contaminate surface and groundwater supplies, negatively impacting the ecosystem. Nutrient management and testing can supply the right mix of nutrients to plants and crops while preventing overapplication.
The prevention and management of undesired pests and bugs in crops and plants can avoid or dramatically reduce the usage of harmful pesticides and sprays, reducing toxicity and exposure to the plants. Pest control is removing the circumstances that pests require, such as food and shelter, and finding a balance between the beneficial pests and creatures we need and the nasty bugs, since many birds, insects, and spiders devour the terrible pests.
Reasons why agriculture is changing as a result of technological advancements
Agriculture is one of the few sectors that has been entirely altered by technology. Agriculture has continued to change as farmers seek smarter, more efficient ways to increase productivity, from hand-held equipment to machinery to digitally driven solutions.
Farmers have embraced technology to optimize the efficiency of their agricultural company as digitalization has become more accessible, even to locations previously thought too distant for an internet connection.
1. Improved GPS Technology
Given the rate at which technology has advanced, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology isn’t exactly cutting-edge. John Deere was the first to use GPS technology in tractors in the early 1990s. Farmers could guide machines using field coordinates in the earlier versions of these tractors. However, GPS technology has gotten increasingly sophisticated since then. Almost any piece of on-farm machinery may now link digitally to multiple apps. With GPS apps, farm planning, field mapping, soil sample, crop analysis, variable rate applications, and yield mapping are now made.
2. Mobile technology puts the farm in your hand
Farmers may obtain a detailed image of the state of their farming company from the palm of their hand. Farmers can use mobile applications to gather, receive, and display on-farm data, manage on-farm technologies, connect with their team or external consultants, and obtain pertinent news or weather updates that may affect their operation. Consider a dairy farmer who receives an immediate phone notice with milk production and pricing before the tanker even leaves their driveway. Or a farmer who can communicate with their agronomist in real-time from the farm shed. Isn’t it looks fascinating?
3. Intelligent sensor technology
Sensor technology is becoming more prevalent, giving farmers excellent insights to manage their farms more precisely. Sensors are utilized to track anything from soil quality and moisture to weather conditions and crop weight. These sensors enable farmers to use resources more efficiently, decreasing waste and, as a result, costs.
4. Data aggregation for increased farm performance
Cloud technology has facilitated data exchange not just among agricultural teams but also within farming communities. With the breadth of data accessible, aggregated data platforms bring agricultural data together in one location, allowing farmers and advisers to receive a comprehensive picture of overall farm performance rather than seeing information in fragmented systems. Data from many systems flows in and is combined with other relevant platforms, making it simple to identify patterns and analyse performance.
5. Application accuracy using variable rate technology
The automated application of resources on a farm is the topic of variable rate application. The manner the materials are applied and how much is applied is decided by data obtained using sensors and GPS mapping. It might include the use of fertilizer, pesticides, or seeds. Variable-rate technology was created by combining different types of technology, such as artificial intelligence, satellite mapping, and drone technology. It recognizes specific information about a particular plot of land and bases application judgments on that information. Benefits include:
• Financial savings due to more precise resource utilization.
• Higher yield due to focused application.
• Environmental preservation due to a reduction in chemicals.
All five of these developments work together to form what is known as ‘precision agriculture,’ which is essentially the utilization of specialized equipment and advanced analytics to take the guesswork out of farming. It’s incredible to see how technology is assisting farmers in meeting the demands of a rising population. More farmers are experiencing a favourable impact on their bottom line as they access solutions that increase efficiency and production.
Farmsio Sustainable Sourcing Solution
• Farmsio solution provides decision tools, reports, and insights for sustainable sourcing impact assessment solutions in the value chain. Agribusiness and sourcing organizations can manage their supply chain with fair, transparent, traceable solutions of Farmsio.
• Tracks and inspects farm produce and schedules delivery at the warehouse with the farm to fork traceability solutions of Farmsio that any supply and sourcing organization can use.
• Farmsio facilitates market linkage by providing modules like procurement, product transfer, warehouse management, by which organizations can enrol buyers at one end and farmers at the other.
As we progress toward a solar civilization with less reliance on fossil fuels, the chances for sustainable agriculture development expand. Solar design, green architecture, building design, architectural restoration, ecological engineering, and sustainable agriculture are all developing professions creating a better society.
Sustainable agriculture is indeed a viable alternative to conventional intensive farming because it reduces costs and provides numerous environmental benefits such as lower pesticides and chemical fertilizers, better crop rotation, conserving natural resources, and preserving animal habitats, among other things.
Farmsio is a unified solution that uses the technologies described above to provide growers and agronomists with the information they need to optimize production and return on investment.
Learn more or sign up for a free demo here.