Water is often a necessity when it comes to agriculture. Just ask anyone who is across the Mekong River as it leaves China, the lake doesn’t flow the majority of the year anymore, certainly not, no water. Why? Well, drought issues, plus, China has devoted plenty of hydro-electric dams about the upper river. It’s a serious problem, not simply for those who live over the river to fish, and want water to irrigate, but to drink also. Now they must dig wells, which can be acceptable for a little while.
Industrial farming really got going about four decades ago, and also since then, they have caused widespread environmental devastation. Industrial farming continues to be considered responsible for the contamination of rivers, streams, and groundwater, it has driven small farmers off their land unable to take care of the high yield opposition. These farming methods have experienced a dreadful effect on livestock farming where animal welfare is usually in a very poor state. This type of farming isn’t sustainable and almost works against nature and never with it.
One small example is the fluctuation within the country’s woodland from approximately 11% woodland cover in the Roman period (100AD) to 15% in Norman era. It was as a result of around 7% by 1350AD, even less than today, and after that climbed to a broadly stable 10% whilst the total duration of hedgerow continued to grow as more fields were enclosed. You can read more from GreenShield.
In this new environment, I began to question the validity of the term ‘sustainable farm.’ The decision not to use harmful chemicals alone does not make an operation sustainable. What about all of the resources utilized to transport our goods to a market 90 miles away, and produce the plastic that they were packaged in? Or the energy utilized by our food processors and freezers? Yet, as a result of size and nature from the farm, we had to sell these value-added (i.e. processed) goods as a way to turn a profit. And to sell these goods, needed market greater than the New Paltz area could provide. One of the best things now you may do today to promote sustainability is to go shopping for local food, particularly from farmer’s markets in your area.
The modern day combine is finished half-a-million dollars, runs on GPS coordinates, and looks much more the area shuttle inside than anything near to a 1940s tractor. In fact, once you put the combine set up, just hit go, as you would in a very 747 cleared for take-off and it will fly the entire trip and land in zero-zero visibility in the designated airport.