What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture is the practice and science of farming sustainably. “Sustainability” means consuming resources, such as land, healthy soil and animals, so they may be naturally or artificially replenished without emptying or contaminating other resources.

For example, all soil naturally has a certain amount of minerals and elements, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Good, sustainable farming practices ensure that plants are rotated through different soil slots or patches so the soil can build up more minerals and elements between harvest cycles. In this way, the soil’s resources are not depleted and can be used for much longer than they otherwise might be.

For another example, sustainable logging is the practice and science of harvesting a specific, limited amount of timber from a designated harvesting area, such as a forest.

Rather than eliminating the forest, the logging company harvests some trees from one area and more trees from another, giving the forest a chance to renew and replenish itself before returning for more harvesting.

Sustainable agriculture is integral to modern agricultural philosophies, science and practices. It’s also only going to become more critical as time goes on.