Sustainable Agriculture Research Paper

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“Sustainable agriculture is the act of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment”

The expression was composed by Australian agricultural scientist Gordan McClymont. It has been defined as “an intergrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term.
Eg:
• Satisfy human food and fiber needs

• Appreciate environmental quality and the natural resource based upon which the agricultural economy depends

• Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources

• Assist the economic viability of farm operations

• Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society

Environment
Sustainable agriculture can be
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The local community is actively involved in in farming. Many farmers and farming households are involved in many clubs and organizations in their local area.

My Farm
Our farm is situated in Moneen, Williamstown, Co. Galway. Our farm consists of 250 acres, 40 of which is rented. The majority of the land is situated near the farm with the exception of 50 acres being 6 miles away in Ballinlough Co. Roscommon. The bulk of the ground is good fertile soil which sits upon brown earth with a good limestone base. We also have 50 acres of forestry which consists of conifers and deciduous trees. We also have 10 acres of bog which is 2 miles away from the farm. Unlike many bogs in Ireland our bog is not a designated bog.

The main enterprises which are carried out on our farm are:
• Beef
• Sheep
• Horse
• Poultry

Economy

We keep about 150 cattle all of the time, the majority of which are slaughtered. We finish bulls, heifers and bullocks. The majority of our stock is Angus and Hereford. These are bought in as suck calves and stores. The majority of these are finished on grass with the exception of the bulls being finished in the sheds. We also have a suckler herd which consists of 25 cows. These cows are usually put incalf to an Angus bull and the calves are kept for beef. These cows calve down in spring which gives them the advantage of being let straight out to grass once
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Heaths
7. Lakes
8. Rivers
9. Woodlands
10. Estuaries
11. Sea inlets
On our farm the SAC applies to us. We fall under the category of the bogs. However, unlike many other people we are still allowed to cut on our bog until the turf is gone.

In addition to SAC’s and SPA’s, another element which has to be taken into deliberation is the natural heritage areas (NHA’s). The basic designation for wildlife is the natural heritage area. This is an area considered important for the habitats present or which holds species of plant and animal whose habitat needs protection. To date, there are 75 raised bogs and 73 blanket bogs, all of which are designated.

The final component in the component in the environmental aspect of sustainable agriculture is habitat conservation. This is where farmers carry out land management practices to conserve, protect and restore habitat areas for wild plants and animals. On our farm this is achieved by fencing away from rivers so wild plants and animals can grow and populate. Another practice which we carry out is not spreading slurry, fertilizer or waste near rivers or waterways. These are important as it maintains biodiversity which is an essential part of food security.

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