Feeding a nation takes time and effort. It’s a difficult task, and scaling to meet demand has had a profound impact on the shape of our culture and the health of our land. In more recent years, we have become aware that some side effects of this essential boom were not entirely positive. Farming as we know it can lead to erosion and threaten the health of local wildlife. However, it’s not all bad. As time progresses, new ways commercial farming practices are becoming more green shift to become the industry standard, making clean farming more common.
One of the most straightforward ways farms can reduce their impact on the nation is to pursue renewable energy. It takes a lot of gas, electricity, and water to run a full-scale international food production business. Farmers can reduce at least one of those three energy types significantly. Namely, electricity by way of simple solar panels. Since the entire point of any farm is to utilize as much direct sunlight as possible for plants, it stands to reason that solar panels would be effective. Adding panels to the roofs of farm structures can pull in significant energy and dramatically reduce the draw a farm puts on the local grid.
Natural Soil Management
For operations still using traditional field layouts, there are many ways commercial farming practices are becoming greener. Timeless techniques used by cultures that pioneered agriculture are being rediscovered and revived in modern mass production farming. One such approach is large-scale composting. Used by home gardeners across the nation for decades, composting essentially recycles organic material into refreshed soil.
When employed on a massive scale, composting is an effective way for farmers to recover fields after growing. It also saves farms money and helps reduce cross-contamination by eliminating the need to bring in manure and products from producers located hundreds of miles away. It’s such an effective tool that suppliers and services exist around the country to educate farmers and help them implement these practices in their operations.
Aquaponics and Hydroponics
An increasingly popular form of farming utilized by hobbyists and professionals alike is hydroponics. Many crops will grow very efficiently in nutrition-rich freshwater. Little to no earth is needed, as plants grow entirely in raised trays with their root submerged. The absence of fields eliminates the problems of soil depletion and erosion caused by more common methods. While rushing water may seem wasteful, aquaponics and hydroponics are often used in tandem. The result is a connected flow of water that is refreshed by different crops feeding into each other.