In recent decades, food production has evolved to include huge inputs of fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers and abundant pesticides. However, there is also a growing presence of sustainable farming in Victoria. People are now asking more questions about where food comes from and how it was grown. Many realize that taking the time to research where your food came from is a very responsible action. As the demand for organic and sustainably produced products grows, the amount of sustainable farming in Victoria has also increased.
Most sustainable farming in Victoria utilizes a variety of soil conservation and improvement techniques. To help hold the soil in place and prevent weed growth, sustainable farms plant cover crops between planting cycles. In addition to keeping the soil strong, cover crops also add nutrients to the soil when the plants are turned over into the soil.
Sustainable farming in Victoria also uses on-site composting of organic material to create a rich soil fertilizer. Compost on farms generally includes a variety of crop material and manure, which eliminates the need to purchase fertilizers.
Water conservation is a major part of sustainable farming in Victoria as well. Conventional farms often use irrigation sprinklers to water plants and crops. Although they are generally less expensive, the sprinklers are not as efficient as drip irrigation. Drip irrigation uses tubes with holes to bring water to the crops.
Of course, sustainable farming in Victoria also uses alternatives to synthetic pesticides that are harmful to consumers.
These farms do not try to totally eliminate pest species, but rather minimize the populations. Keeping natural pest predators in the area will help. Crop diversity is another way to deal with pests on farms. Varying the crops in the area will reduce the chance of attracting a single pest. If a particular crop does fail, the diversity will eliminate the risk of losing all the crops on a farm. Sustainable farms that do use pesticides often turn to microbial pesticides. These pesticides are considered safe to humans and attack the lining of the pest’s stomach while not harming most beneficial insects on the farm.
There are a great deal of other measures and techniques that go into sustainable farming in Victoria, but these are just a few highlights. As you explore more in the world of sustainable farming practices, you will find that the overall goal these farms work toward is to provide safe and healthy food options for the people of Victoria!
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