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This book explains concepts and long-term benefits of sustainability on farms. It covers systems such as permaculture, biodynamics, organic farming, agroforestry, conservation tillage, and integrated hydroculture. It examines important issues such as monoculture versus polyculture, and problems such as land degradation and climatic change, acid rain, salinity and chemical waste. The author looks at the everything from socio economic considerations, robotincs, drones and other technologies, to utilisation of hybrids and selection criteria for plants and stock and preparing a farm for droughts and floods.

Sustainable Agriculture 3rd Edition revises, updates, and expands on what was explored in earlier editions.

1st Ed was published by Kangaroo Press; 1998, 160 pages, print

2nd Ed published by CSIRO Publishing (Landlinks imprint), 2003, 2012 pages, print and ebook

Rated 4.08 stars (out of 50 by Good Reads (August 2019)

3rd ed published by ACS Distance Education, 2019, 241 pages, ebook

 

Contents

Credits

Introduction

Why be sustainable?

 

Chapter 1   DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE

What to do

Know your land

A) Evaluating a site

B) Land carrying capacity

C) Assessing land capability

An indication of sustainability

 

Chapter 2  SUSTAINABLE CONCEPTS

Natural farming

Organic farming

Whole farm planning

Systems thinking in sustainable agriculture

Permaculture

Minimal cultivation

No dig techniques

Biodynamics

Crop rotation

Seed saving

Urban farming

Hydroponics

Aquaponics

Vertical farming

Environmentally friendly farming

Checklist of sustainability elements

Sustainable agriculture around the globe

Case study: target 10, a model for sustainable agricultural development

 

Chapter 3  SOILS

Introduction

Growing media

Soils

Problems with soils

Major types of soil problems

1) Loss of soil fertility

2) Erosion

3) Salinity

4) Soil sodicity

5) Soil structural decline

6) Soil acidification

7) Build-up of dangerous chemicals

Improving soils

Adding organic matter

Cultivation techniques

Conservation tillage

Plant nutrition

Soil ph

Choosing the right fertiliser

Nutrient deficiencies

Natural fertilisers

Types of natural fertilisers to use

A look at organic fertilisers

Soil life

Earthworms

Mycorrhiza

Nitrogen fixing

Composting

The composting process

Guidelines for using compost

Mulches

General rules for mulching

 

Chapter 4  WATER MANAGEMENT

Water usage

Methods of water storage

Rainwater collection & storage

Water tanks

Bore water

Farm dams

Livestock water requirement

Water quality

Problems with water

Mosquitoes

Willows and waterways

Algal blooms

Livestock contamination

Flood

Water quality

Salinity

Testing water salinity

Treating saline water

Management options

Long-term strategies

Tastes and odours

Reed beds

Water saving measures

Recycling household water

Using farm/waste water

Water wastage

Evaporation

Seepage

Runoff

Overspray

Scheduling

Recycling waste water

Swales and keylines

Swales

Keyline design

Irrigation systems

Irrigation system design

Steps in the design process

Maintenance procedures and scheduling

Periodic inspections

Routine upkeep

Contingent work

Scheduling work

Surface or flood irrigation

Border check system

Hillside flooding

Furrow irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation

A) wind velocity and wetting pattern

B) drop size

C) rotational speed

D) evaporation

Innovations in water management and precision agriculture procedures and scheduling

 

Chapter 5   PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL

Use of pesticides

Pest management and systems thinking

Integrated pest management

Biointensive integrated pest management

Pesticides: a vicious cycle

Controlling pests and diseases in plants

Cultural controls

Physical controls

Sprays and dusts

Pesticides

Fungicides

Chemical control of pests and diseases in plants

Insecticides

Fungicides

Chemical application techniques

Biological control

Antagonistic organisms

Advantages of bio-control methods

Disadvantages of biocontrol methods

Predators

Attracting parasites

Beneficial plants

Trap or decoy plants

Companion planting

Plants which affect the soil

Pest control plants

Legislation

Chemical use

Quarantine

Genetic engineering

Pest and disease control in animals

 

Chapter 6   SUSTAINABLE WEED CONTROL AND CULTIVATION

What is a weed?

Controlling weeds

Ways to control weeds without chemicals

Check soil condition

Minimise sources of weed seeds

Cultivation

Mulching

Biological weed control

Grazing

Goats

Other grazing animals

Chemical control of weeds

Herbicides

Contact herbicides

Woody weed herbicides

Residual herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides

Selective herbicides

Herbicide additives

Plants which take over

Environmental weeds

Some plants to avoid

Noxious weeds

 

Chapter 7   FARM MANAGEMENT

Changing an existing farm to a sustainable property

The rodale institute conversion experiment

New farm products

Pre-planning

Considerations

Monitoring and reviewing the farm system

Socioeconomic considerations

Profitability

Social aspects

Production planning

Economy of scale

Materials

Equipment

Value adding

Organic certification schemes

Contingencies and seasonal variations

The expected

The unexpected

Types of problems

Planning for drought

Excessive water

What other planning do I need?

 

Chapter 8  GROWING AND HARVESTING PLANTS

Selection criteria for plants

Grain and other broad acre crops

Monoculture

Crop rotation

Row crops

Cover crops

Cover crop guidelines/principles

Legume cover crops

Types of cover crops

Ways of using a cover crop

Hay and silage

Silage production

Silage timing

Quality control

Hay

Hydroponic fodder

 

Chapter 9    TREES, FODDER AND OTHER PLANTS

Important reasons for having trees on farms

Agroforestry

Profitability

Design

Pruning/thinning

Harvesting

Timber trees

Paulownia

Pine plantations

Eucalyptus

Acacia

Fodder trees

Types of trees

Windbreaks

Windbreak design considerations

Windbreak plants

Firebreaks

Fire-prone areas

How to arrange plants

Maintenance of firebreak species

Habitat corridors for wildlife

Why create a wildlife corridor?

Benefits of wildlife corridors

Where to establish wildlife corridors

Types of wildlife corridors

Wildlife corridor design

Edge effects

Tree planting methods

Preparing the site

Planting seedlings

Direct seeding

 

Chapter 10   SUSTAINABLE ANIMAL MANAGEMENT

Possible problems of livestock production

Breed selection

Stocking rates

Fencing

Production systems

Land care practices

Pastures 203

Sustainable pasture varieties

Saltbush

How much grazing?

How long to graze?

Grazing methods

Other areas for grazing

Guidelines for raising different livestock

Alpacas

Aquaculture (freshwater)

Cattle

Emus

Goats

Horses

Ostriches and emus

Poultry (chickens)

Pigs

Sheep

 

Chapter 11  TECHNOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS

Introduction

Precision agriculture

Machines and tools

Tractors

Drones

Wearable technology

Robotics

Computer technology

Fertilisers and soil conditioners

Seaweed extracts

Fish fertilisers

Rock dusts

Chemical pesticides and herbicides

Soil microbes

New plants & animals

Biotechnology & sustainable agriculture

Modifying organisms genetically

Cloning

Problems for biotechnology

Nuclear and isotopic techniques

 

 

FURTHER READING AND STUDY

More ebooks available

Courses available



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Sustainable Agriculture 3rd Ed. - PDF ebook Sustainable Agriculture 3rd Ed. - PDF ebook
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