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.
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. Not to forget, the machinery and farming equipment used can be causing damage to environment. While it would be counter intuitive to take up horse ploughs, other alternatives could be tried out. One among those could be to ensure tractors, combines and other agricultural machinery are well maintained. If that means quick procurement of Caterpillar spare parts online from suppliers like Costex.com, then there is no harm in exploring that route. Of course, things will break down eventually and need repairing, which could involve extra miles on the road, and potentially more harmful fumes being released into the environment. To prevent this, you may wish to see if you can do the repair work yourself on site with the help of a site like eManual Online to help you find the information you need about your specific piece of equipment. That way, you won’t be taking it on the road and, hopefully, you will save yourself having to buy a new machine. It’s also worth noting that there are a few manufacturers around the world who have taken up a responsibility to work towards producing sustainable equipment that can work on solar power and other renewable energy; they too should be given a serious consideration.
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.