CALL TODAY! +1.248.429.7225
Home / AquaGrove Blog / On the Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

On the Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

Learn more about AquaGrove...

On the Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

According to UC Davis Agriculture and Sustainability Institute, “sustainable agriculture” is defined as follows: Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals — environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

There are many practices commonly used by people working in sustainable agriculture and sustainable food systems. Growers may use methods to promote soil health, minimize water use, and lower pollution levels on the farm. Consumers and retailers concerned with sustainability can look for foods that are grown using methods promoting the wellbeing of farmers, that are environmentally friendly, or that are grown locally to strengthen the local economy.

The need for sustainable agriculture is becoming increasingly more critical.  From the rapidly growing population to the limited resources and extreme climate challenges, solutions like aquaponics provide hope for food production in the future.

Making the transition to sustainable agriculture is a process. 

For farmers, the transition to sustainable agriculture requires small and realistic steps. Family economics and personal goals influence how fast or how far individuals can go in the transition. It is important to realize that each small decision can make a difference and contribute to advancing the entire system further on the "sustainable agriculture continuum.”

When it comes to farming and natural resources, there is an obvious need to conserve as many natural resources as possible.  Areas that need attention when shifting farming practices include but are not limited to:

Water According to a U.S. Geological Survey report, agriculture is a major user of ground and surface water in the United States, and irrigation accounted for 42 percent of the Nation’s total freshwater withdrawals in 2015. On the other hand, aquaponics uses 2 percent of the water required for traditional farming, alleviating the pressure fueled by water shortages and drought.  The most important issues related to water quality involve salinization and contamination of ground and surface waters by pesticides, nitrates and selenium, another issue that is remedied with organic farming through aquaponics.

Land – Not only is there limited green space in urban areas throughout the U.S., but animals’ homes and habitats are most often destroyed in the quest for more green space to farm. According to UC Davis, the conversion of wild habitat to agricultural land reduces fish and wildlife through: Erosion and sedimentation; the effects of pesticides; removal of riparian plants; and the diversion of water.

Energy - Modern agriculture is heavily dependent on non-renewable energy sources, especially petroleum. The continued use of these energy sources cannot be sustained indefinitely. With aquaponic systems like AquaGrove, there is not only less energy use per square foot of growth, but options for solar canopies and arrangements allow for some of the energy for the pump and lighting to be supplemented by solar power. For growers with more space for solar panels, more energy can be supplemented to eventually have the system completely off-grid.

Air Quality - Many agricultural activities have a negative impact on our air quality. These activities include but are not limited to: Smoke from agricultural burning; dust from tillage; traffic and harvest; pesticide drift from spraying; and nitrous oxide emissions from the use of nitrogen fertilizer.

Soil - Soil erosion continues to be a serious threat to our ability to produce adequate food.  By using soilless growing methods such as aquaponics and hydroponics, erosion issues are bypassed.

As food demand increases, along with the global population, sustainable practices on all levels will eventually be required for survival and the health of our planet. With agriculture, a transition to sustainable farming practices like aquaponics provides a proven solution to conserve resources and limit the environmental impact caused by food production.

To learn more about sustainable agriculture and gardening through AquaGrove aquaponics, contact us.