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Video 14 Sustainable Agriculture

hi APES students welcome to video 14 on
sustainable agriculture so the goals of sustainable agriculture is basically to
be able to feed the world population without degrading the environment so we
want to do things like enhance the soil quality minimize our use of
non-renewables but we want to allow for the organic farmers to actually be able
to make money unfortunately usually with organic farming it requires a lot more
labor than traditional industrial agriculture so we’re going to talk about
that as well so there’s a bunch of different ways
that I can be sustainable so the way I’ve done it is I’ve numbered them and
then I’m talking about things that go with that number so number one is
improving soil quality so the first thing I can do is I can rotate my crops
what this means as we saw from the sustainable farm animation we can we can
actually plant different things for each year this is going to help keep the
nutrients in the soil it’s going to reduce the erosion problems that we have
it also controls for pests we don’t have to spray as many synthetic pesticides
and basically we’re going to be able to control the weeds and everything that’s
growing a lot better we can also apply green manure which is animal and plant
waste so think if you cut your grass instead of you know you may have a bag
on the lawn mower that will be the green manure the stuff that goes in that bag
so you can actually collect that and spread it out around your crops and you
can actually use that so these are some of the animal feed waste that you can
use now suppose you use dog and cat waste because of the things that we give
them it has chemicals in it that we don’t really want to put on our food but
then all the other animals have more of a natural diet
we can also add compost which makes soil kind of a spongy texture and it will
hold water a lot better so this will improve our structure we can add lime
stall and if we have acid problems and one of the things that limestone will
help curry correct is the nutrient uptake issue um so if your soil is too
acidic one of the reasons why the plants won’t grow is they literally cannot take
up the nutrients that they need from the another thing we need to focus on is
reducing erosion so the first one was improving fertility this one is reducing
erosion so we can do something called no-till basically what that means is
that you are not going around with a big tractor and like you know disturbing the
top six inches of soil or so and basically turning it over so this is an
example of here’s an old farm area like you can see the old crops were corn
stalks and now we planted soybeans so we didn’t turn the land up we just
straight-up planted the soybeans in rows along the corn stalks this creates less
erosion because you’re not disturbing the soil basically the soil can’t be
blown away one of the big drawbacks about this though is we have to spray
for weeds a lot because if you’re planting stuff where other stuff has
already grown and basically not starting over then you’ll get weeds growing from
the other material that was there we can also plant perennial crops basically
these are things you don’t have to plan every year they basically just grow back
so you don’t have to spray pesticides you don’t have to continually plow
there’s no reason to do tillage if you already planted that thing there and you
basically just get that plant forever you can also rotational graze house or
whatever you have sheep that are feeding and we talked about this a little bit
basically you just rotate around so that this plot over here we’ll come back and
eventually look like what number four looks like after a while and you just
keep rotating them around you can also do things differently with how you plant
so if you’re on a sloped area you want to plow perpendicular to the slope so
that’s what contour plowing is in other words I don’t want to plow going
straight down in the mountain lines because then when my rain hits it’s
going to cause runoff to go straight down it’s going to take all the
nutrients out so I want to plant my crops going in a circle down the
elevation of the mountain I can also Terrace if I’m on a slope and this is
basically making places that would not normally be formidable farmable places
where I can farm so I make steps on the side of a mountain and then I can
farm on the little steps that I’ve made and it will slow the runoff when it
actually rains I can plant in strips I can alternate the different types of
plants that I’m doing in rows so that’s called strip cropping so here you see
maybe corn or something in a row and then the side it is something that’s
smaller I can put windbreaks I can plant trees at the edge of my farm so that
when the wind blows it hits the tree and it does not take the soil with it I can
also do a cover crop we will see this when we go across the street from to the
farm they basically plant something first
and that basically stabilizes the soil and then I plant something else I’d kind
of mow that away and I plant my cash crop so a couple cover crop is something
that / grows first and it protects the next plant that I’m trying to plant we
can also do organic agriculture this is a zone category so organic agriculture
is not using synthetic pesticides or fertilizers in 1990 we passed the
organic foods production Act and basically what that did was it allowed a
department of the Department of Agriculture to oversee organic farms so
you have to do certain things for your food to be labeled as organic and we
actually now have people that regulate that may go out some farms and they make
sure that the farms are truly being organic the biggest problem with organic
food is it costs a lot more because you can’t use those synthetic things that
make it cheaper to produce the food I’m so set of you know synthetic pesticides
and fertilizers we have to use like compost or you know you can’t actually
still use pesticides but it has to be a natural pesticide and all of that is
things that cost more to produce which is why the organic foods cost more so
our organic food has grown this is a graph showing you from 2000 to 2012 and
has just continued to increase the number of farms the amount of food that
people are buying basically sales have just skyrocketed so
people are really interested in organic agriculture and organic farming so we
can provide the food the farmers can actually still
make money because we are so interested in this we can also free-range graze our
animals this is another way that we can sustainably farm most of the land in the
United States is used for grazing animals and some of the benefits is more
ethical or humane than the kathas that we talked about before you don’t have to
use antibiotics and medicines because they’re not all clumped together there’s
less risk of disease there’s less fossil fuels that you’re going to be using and
there’s also the animal waste instead of having to put it in the lagoon and deal
with it it just goes right back into the land and it becomes fertilizer there are
some negatives to it it more does require more land because they’re
free-range out there not in small little densely packed calf lows it costs more
money because it requires more land you can have water pollution so the animals
are going to be you know pooping and if it’s not on the land it can go into the
water even from the land it can run off into the water and that can cause some
water pollution problems and you know we can have an issue of the tragedy of the
Commons where we are over grazing our cattle too much um so some acts that are
related to grazing in 1934 we had federal Range lands were changed from
common areas to permits so you had to have a permit to go in and graze however
the department’s cost very little money so a lot of people argue that it’s
basically free-range you is basically still a Commons and we’re over grazing
because it’s so cheap the government spends about seven times more on
managing these areas then it actually costs for the permits so basically we
have subsidized grazing we have given extra money so that people go and graze
more and finally the fifth thing we can do should be sustainable for our
agriculture is we can implement what we call integrated pest management
basically this is a combination of a bunch of different methods used to
control pests insects it’s not just spraying things with chemicals um so
here’s kind of our pyramid of you know interventions what do we do before we
get to chemicals so you definitely need to make sure that you have the
methods down the first thing we do is cultural so we would do things like crop
rotation that would be and like literally when we’re planning our farm
we would make sure that we’re doing things upfront that prevent us from
having to do pest control later then after that was I planted them in the pet
the plants have grown I can mechanically remove things I can literally go in with
a net I can put in a trap that’s sticky and I can try to catch the pests that
way the third thing I can do is I can do biological control which if you remember
from our invasive species discussion that’s when I bring in a predator of the
species to come and try to eat it which we know can cause more problems
sometimes and the final thing I’m going to do is apply pinnacles so once I’ve
done all of these other things my chemicals synthetic pesticides are kind
of the last alternative and still if I’m going to spray them I’m going to spray
them you know in a smart way that it’s not going to use too much so here’s the
first cultivation methods crop rotation intercropping meaning planting different
things together kind of like this strip cropping you can also plant pest
resistant varieties of foods and then you can make habitats for predators to
come in so these are some banana insects that will come in and basically eat the
difference or these are the insects that will eat the bananas and then if I want
to protect my apples and bananas these are some things that can come in and
they can eat those prey items so these are my Apple protectors one thing to
note is integrated pest management is not the same as organic I can still
spray synthetic chemicals it’s just kind of my last option so just to make sure
that you’re not confusing those two it can be organic if I’m stopping at that
biological section but if I continue on to chemical spraying then it cannot be
organic all right that’s it bring your questions tomorrow

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