As members of the agricultural community, we know better than most the importance of taking care of our land. We make our living from it, and use it to provide our community with high-quality food. So we have to become good stewards of the land, not only because of how we use it today, but so that future generations can continue reaping the benefits long after we’re gone. While there are many ways to go about it, here are a few principles we follow that help guarantee the land for future farmers.
Take Only What You Need
Rotate crops and animals through your fields to make the best use of the nutrients in the soil. Research shows that crop rotation results in higher yields for both produce and grasses, which also results in cattle and other animals requiring less supplemental feed. Additionally, using an effective and efficient irrigation system throughout your fields keeps plants growing at an optimal rate without causing excessive water runoff.
Give Back What You Can
By practicing crop rotation with your plants and animals, you open the door to natural fertilizers and are able to cut back on pesticides. Both of these contribute to healthier soil that can rejuvenate nutrients on its own. Proper irrigation prevents water runoff which could be filled with cow manure or other by-products. Preventing this runoff not only helps keep our waterways clean but it also minimizes the effect of erosion on our environments.
Pass On What You Know
All of the tips and tactics you can come up with are worthless if you keep them all to yourself. Yes, it’s important to learn more about protecting our land from research and best practices, but unless we pass that knowledge on to the generations coming up behind us, the benefits of those skills will die with us.
Remember, our relationship with the land is a symbiotic one. Yes, it provides us with so many benefits, but we have to do our part as well to ensure that we will continue to enjoy those benefits for generations to come.