How to Promote Sustainable Agriculture Across the UK

We’re living in unprecedented times, where a climate emergency has focused minds on what more we could be doing to save the planet. Farmers everywhere are looking to improve the way they cultivate the land and their livestock, to reduce the massive impact that farming has on greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. In the UK, that means gaining access to the latest technologies and products which will help put them on the path to a more sustainable future.

Going green

In 2021, the government launched its Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot, to encourage farmers to farm in a more environmentally conscious way. The aim of the scheme is to promote more biodiversity, guard against environmental risks such as flooding and soil erosion and improve the quality of the UK’s air and water. Farmers can be paid for fulfilling certain promises in the standards applied to each type of land, woodland, or hedgerows, with the rewards increasing the more effort they put into protecting the countryside.

Yet money alone is not enough to drive sustainability. The technology and products also need to be in place if farmers are to take the huge leap of ‘going green’ when it comes to land and livestock management. Companies such as Verdesian are pioneering nutrient efficiency solutions to increase crop yields and minimise the environmental impact of farming, helping in the drive to greater sustainability in the UK and around the world.

What more can be done?

The ready availability of pesticides and chemical fertilisers has made food cheaper and easier to produce, but the impact on the environment has been incredibly damaging. It’s a fact the agricultural sector has been slow to wake up to and address. Not only do chemical solutions contribute to pollution of the natural world, but over-production has caused soil depletion, land erosion, deforestation and the growth of industrial farming.

It’s also contributed to food waste, with almost a third of the food the world produces going to landfill between farm and fork. All this has worsened the climate emergency we’re now seeing, so it’s vital that the UK sets a good example when it comes to more sustainable agriculture. The greenest farms in the UK tend to be those which operate on a smaller scale, making use of technology and putting their eco principles at the forefront of their operations.

Time to change

Climate change is a very present danger to all of us. With the threat growing year on year, farmers cannot delay making changes to the way they work the land. If the UK is to lead the way in this sector, it will take more than government subsidies to make the change, and technology will have an ever-more important role in our farming futures.