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Description

Sustainability in Agriculture has become increasingly important over recent times. It is no longer sufficient to just be productive and the cost of production is no longer just thought of in terms of money.  The environmental resources of a farm as well as the financial must not deteriorate if a farm is to continue to exist into the future.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Scope
    • Nature of Sustainability
  2. Soils
  3. Water
  4. Land care
    • Weed control
    • Tree Management
    • Pest and Disease
    • Fire, etc.
  5. Financial Sustainability
  6. Broad Management Strategies
  7. Enterprise Selection & Management: Plants
  8. Enterprise Selection & Management: Animals

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

 

  • Explain the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms.
  • Explain how to avoid serious degradation of soils on a farm through sustainable management.
  • Explain the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms.
  • Explain how to avoid too serious degradation of soils on a farm through water management.
  • Discuss Economic Rules that apply to a farm Enterprise.
  • Crop management techniques for sustainability.
  • Minimising degradation through planning and management.
  • Evaluate the financial viability and potential of animal enterprises.

 

What You Will Do

  • Investigate what is being done for improving agricultural sustainability in your country or region.
  • Contact different organisations or farmers and find out what you can about attitudes & resources available to assist with improving sustainability in your chosen area/Country/region.
  • Investigate whether an organic certification scheme operates in your country, and if so, find out what is involved currently in attaining that certification for a farm.
  • Obtain either literature or advice relating to the management to soil degradation in your locality.
  • Identify the most important issues that farmers need to address in a region within approximately 100 km( or 50 miles )of your home; in order to remain financially viable over the next two decades
  • Distinguish between hydroponics, permaculture, biodynamics and certified organic farming.
  • Identify a farm situation where it might be appropriate to convert to either permaculture, biodynamics or certified organic system.
  • What is being done to improve sustainability of agriculture in the region, country or state of your choice.