Sustainable Agriculture BAG215

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Logo Academy for Distance Learning
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Description

Increase the sustainability of your farm! You will learn techniques and measures to move your farm towards greater sustainability. Improving sustainability can be simple (for example changing what is farmed or how produce is marketed) or require more major changes in farm management practices. Gain useful and practical knowledge to improve sustainability in this comprehensive course. COURSE STRUCTURE There are 8 lessons as follows:
  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 & …

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Agricultural Science, Horticulture, Machinery, Rural Development, and Land Based Studies.

Increase the sustainability of your farm! You will learn techniques and measures to move your farm towards greater sustainability. Improving sustainability can be simple (for example changing what is farmed or how produce is marketed) or require more major changes in farm management practices. Gain useful and practical knowledge to improve sustainability in this comprehensive course. COURSE STRUCTURE There are 8 lessons as follows:
  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 college, marked by the college\'s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Additional Reference: An ideal complementary reference is the book , written by renowned horticulturist, John Mason, and published by Landlinks Press (A division of CSIRO).

AIMS
  • . Understand the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms.
  • . Understand how to avoid serious degradation of soils on a farm through sustainable management.
  • Understand the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms.
  • Understand how to avoid too serious degradation of soils on a farm through water management.
  • Understand 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 THE COURSE COVERS Here are just some of the things you may be doing:
  • 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.
  • Obtain information from your local government department or irrigation supply company. Find out what the local water quality is like and how it was measured.
  • Explain how you can test your local water supply for contaminants. What contaminants were found? eg. Bacteria, heavy metals, silt etc.
  • Outline how can these contaminants be removed from the local water supply eg filtration, chemicals, etc.
  • Identify cost effective means by which contamination can be prevented.
  • Identify types of water catchment in your local area. eg dams ,stream ,creeks ,etc.
  • Find out what types of conservation are being practiced in your local area.
  • Outline methods of pest control being practiced in your area
  • Describe methods of weed control used in your area.
  • Identify and describe any natural control methods being used in your area.
  • Research tourism activities are available in your local area.
  • Investigate planning and advisory services in your local area.
  • Investigate existing animal enterprises in your local area and the economic impact.

Today the pressure is on for more and more farmers to work towards sustainable systems of farming which produce healthy, nutritious, affordable food and a dependable, secure food supply -without producing a negative impact on the environment. Sustainable farms should protect the environment, preserve open spaces, forests and wildlife and also encourage and conserve biodiversity, plus provide the farmer and farm workers with a good living.

This course is aimed at those who want to help the world move towards the preservation of our natural resources and to maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems. Economic, commercial, marketing and production techniques are explored in a multi-facetted way to help move a farm towards improved sustainability.

Sustainable agricultural practices must not impact negatively on the environment therefore this course encourages:

  • The investigation of how farming practices impacts on and shapes the future of the environment
  • Farming practices that suit the local environment and reduce the impact on it
  • Examination of the best use of natural resources; the use of water in production; preservation of soil quality; responsible use of chemicals and fertilizers; reducing the potential for salinity and pollution of waterways.
  • The conservation of biodiversity
  • Long term improvements in productivity
  • Social improvement, through sustainable practices (both monetary and non- monetary)
  • Flexibility and risk management (in fluctuating markets and climate variations)
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