Encourging farmers to minimise the use of water for social and enviromental sustainability

March 9, 2013 in Minimise the use of water, Sustainability by admin

Agricultural lands in the region lie within compact, rural watersheds that contribute to drinking water supplies and high quality fresh and coastal water resources. Close proximity to high population densities, a high cost of living and a limited land base have prompted farmers throughout the region to intensify crop and livestock production as well as diversify and adopt alternative markets and practices. Agriculture in the region also has the opportunity to produce energy as ethanol and biodiesel. As farms bring Conservation Reserve Program land into production, water resources may be threatened with nutrient, sediment and pesticide inputs. A rise in organic agriculture has created a new opportunity to eliminate pesticide use but also created new challenges in managing nutrients. The need for profitable sustainable organic forage production systems is also an important regional educational and research priority. Threats to surface and ground water quality caused by agricultural intensification and diversification can be minimized by, effective nutrient and pest management and selection of water quality protective cropping systems.