Sustainability of Agriculture Essay

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What is a Sustainable Agriculture?

To define the sustainability of agriculture, we must look into the several relationships agriculture has with the basic nature of making something sustainable. In this research literature, we will look at the factual information regarding agricultural practices as they relate to the long-term stability of biodiversity, ecosystems, and Natural resources. We will also compare historical and modern perspectives of economics as they relate to resources and sustainability. The researched information will give us a better idea to propose solutions and methods for a more sustainable future-global food supply.
Let us first start with the DNA of agriculture: biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural resources. Agricultural biodiversity is a subset of biodiversity as it pertains to the crop varieties. Agricultural biodiversity is an important part of modern agriculture and its sustainability because it creates a complimentary variety of plants and other organisms that increase the potential of crop survival and longevity. For example, the nodules found at the end of legumes increase the nitrogen level in the soil that may produce a higher quality crop fit for consumption. It also makes the soil last longer resulting in high-yielding crops. For example, the following information is from an article in an AridLands Newsletter at an Arizona College:
“It was in this dramatic scenario that the Drylands Polyculture Project was born. It was observed that despite its apparently barren prospects, the Sertão is a rich and prosperous land, producing many local and adapted crops and fodder plants. The problem was not the climate-as is usually implied-but the agricultural model, based on slash-and-burn, or wors...

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...when water is scarce and when that crop is harvested, the hydrophilic crops can be planted when the wet season returns. The benefit of a monoculture is not only the profits produced, but the amount of food that can be harvested at once and the amount of maintenance needed to care for the crop is low because the variables are few since it is only one crop using the same soil for the same amount of time during the same season every year. This is convenient and profitable, but not sustainable.

Works Cited

Hanzi, Marsha, “Polycultures in the Brazilian drylands: A new version of an old tradition” AridLands Newsletter, No. 48, November/December 2000

“Agricultural Ecosystems: facts and trends” brochure by the World Council for Sustainable Development and the IUCN pages 3-5, July 2008

Levetin and McMahon, “Plants and Society 5th ed” page 242, paragraphs 3-4

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