Climate change is having a massive impact on the planet and as the weather gets weirder, planning harvests and crops for profit gets harder. Over the last few decades, farming has shifted somewhat from understanding the land and going with the seasons to forcing crops and maximising growth with increasingly aggressive methods.
There has never been a more challenging time for agricultural businesses. The planet’s population is demanding more and more food while the planet itself is asking for greater leniency. If you thought that finding up-to-date news for grain prices and selling at the right moment would be the main challenge, you probably need to rethink!
But there is some good news. As a farmer, you have the option to work your land as you choose. You have the option to be a part of the solution.
Using Tech to Hack the Eco-System
Every business uses tech to increase productivity and maximize efficiency and agriculture is no exception. E-Farming may be at the cutting edge of agriculture at the moment but it is rapidly gaining ground. As technology progresses, it will become more and more necessary for farmers to invest in order to keep up with the competition.
Emerging agricultural technologies aren’t just about controlling the farming environment, they are also about monitoring, maximizing production and, in some cases, completely revolutionizing the way we produce food. While many of these technologies aren’t available yet, just looking at the scope shows how different agricultural practices could look in just 10 years’ time.
Planting trees is one of the most effective ways to capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to climate change and global warming. Though trees might not form your main crop, they are still incredibly useful for farmers as they can remove toxins from soil, prevent soil erosion and provide much-needed shade for animals – yours and wild visitors.
Though many trees are good simply to have, fruit-bearing trees can provide another avenue for profit. Eucalyptus trees are also popular as they are quite hardy, fast growing and ideal for pulpwood.
Companion planting is an ancient farming method that has recently made a rather triumphant return. In basic terms, companion planting means planting different crops together to encourage growth, deter pests and reduce the number of weeds. For example, planting flowers in amongst fruit crops will attract pollinators and increase the crop yield.
Some companion plants can even be used to double your return on one patch of land. If you plant beans together with corn, the same plot can deliver beans, which use the corn stems to grow up and corn which takes the nutrients the beans put back into the soil. Indeed, it seems that some plants are simply meant to be together on the field as well as on the plate. For example, basil repels bugs and can improve the flavour of tomatoes.
We have a long way to go to fix our climate and environment but changing agricultural practices can only be a good thing. The more we can do now, the more hope we have for the future.