Sustainable Agriculture


Lawrence F. London, Jr. - Venaura Farm - Chapel Hill, NC, USA
mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu  http://sunSITE.unc.edu/InterGarden
mailto:llondon@nuteknet.com  http:nuteknet.com/london  Venaura Farm
Title: Sustainable Agriculture
What is Sustainable Agriculture?

Contact: Dr. Bruce T. Bowman

FAQ Menu URL: http://res.agr.ca/lond/pmrc/faq/menu.html

With recent renewed interest in more holistic approaches to agricultural management practices, there have been numerous efforts to define what is meant by Sustainable Agriculture. Sustainable Agriculture integrates three primary objectives:

The following is a short excerpt on Sustainable Agriculture from recent publication from the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada entitled:
"The health of our soils: toward sustainable agriculture in Canada"
(D.F. Acton and L. J. Gregorich, editors, 1995).


L.J. Gregorich

Most people know that they need clean air and clean water to stay healthy. Fewer people realize that their well-being also depends on the health of another component of our environment—the soil. Soil supports the growth of most of our food and fibre, so its productivity is a major factor in the economies of Canada and other nations. But it also has a much broader role globally. Soil acts as a filter, cleaning air and water. It exchanges gases with the atmosphere and thus influences global climate. Soil receives organic wastes and recycles their nutrients back to plants; it also holds and breaks down some toxic wastes. Because soil plays such a key role in world health, economies, and environmental stability, we must conserve it and use it in a sustainable manner.

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is a way of farming that can be carried out for generations to come. This long-term approach to agriculture combines efficient production with the wise stewardship of the earth's resources. It is hoped that, over time, sustainable agriculture will do the following:

The most important link between farming practices and sustainable agriculture is the health, or quality, of our agricultural soils. If soil becomes degraded, more resources in terms of time, money, energy, and chemicals will be needed to produce less-abundant crops of a lower quality, and the goals of sustainable agriculture will not be met. On the other hand, if soil degradation is reversed and soil health is maintained or improved by using appropriate farming methods, sustainable agriculture can be a reality.

Other Related Links

Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program, Univ. of California, Davis - a California perspective on Sustainable Agriculture.

Western Region and Sustainable Agriculture Program - Utah State University

Sustainable Cropping Systems Research Study (SCORE) is a cooperative research venture involving multidisciplinary teams of researchers from Agriculture Canada, Alberta Agriculture, and the University of Alberta. The study, established in 1991, is funded by the Canada-Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (CAESA) Agreement.

The Sustainable Earth Electronic Library (SEEL) is a project of Sustainable Earth, Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to the creation of environmentally-related information tools and services. SEEL is hosted by the Envirolink Network, which has generously provided the much needed computer space to make SEEL possible.

Linkages, is provided by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin. It is designed to be an electronic clearing-house for information on past and upcoming international meetings related to environment and development.

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Last Revised: 11 November, 1996 08:55:05