Sustainability in farming

This section looks at issues of sustainability as it relates to agriculture and provides further links for consideration. 

What does “sustainability’ mean for farming?
This is a collection of definitions of sustainability as it relates to farming, with a survey sheet ready to use in your community.  Further pages are about specific ways that sustainability applies to agriculture: increasing land and water knowledge, machinery developments, and plant breeding.   The family farming snapshots website collection also includes these on an individual farm basis under the ‘Caring for the Earth‘ sections. 

How does Science support sustainability in farming?
*   Pulses – ‘Nutritional seeds for  a sustainable future’ says the slogan for the International Year of Pulses 2016.

* Some farm inventions – machines – increased sustainability at their time of development. Many still do, with continuous improvements.  There are examples at  Twentieth Century Australian Farming Inventions.  that linked to the 2013 National Science Week theme of Australian Science inventions.
* Plant breeding has had continuous improvement too. Those that increase the sustainability of the farm will be adopted in their time, and plant breeders continue to seek to improve them further.  There are some plant breeding histories through charts for commonly grown broad-acre crops that linked to the 2014 National Science Week theme that linked to the theme of Science for the future, helping to feed the world,   and Yarriambiack community events to celebrate these Great Grains.

Finding Science and Sustainability in Picture Story books-
the 2012-2014 Wimmera HUB SPP at three rural primary schools

St Joseph’s Primary School y 3-6 students in 2012 created  6 picture story books showing how farm issues could be managed sustainably. These are available on line at St Joseph’s PS Hopetoun sustainability and farming page .

In 2013, Beulah PS F-6 students created 7 more, this time about machinery developments and salinity knowledge that contributed to improving sustainability in farming over the 20th Century.

In 2014, Rainbow PS Y5-6 class created 12 picture story books on the ‘Great Grains’ of the Wimmera and their varying histories of plant breeding. Plant breeding, including through the 20th C, aims to improve sustainability in farming by providing increasingly better adapted seeds to different local and changing conditions.  These are not yet available on the web.

Read more of these projects development in my family farms website 

Continue on to explore what “sustainability” can mean in ‘farming’  on the  ‘sustainability means’ page with the option of researching its meaning in a farming community of your choice, using a proforma for an interview.

For more learning activities and refences go to 4learning main page

Page updated 15 Jan 2013, 2 June 2013, 7 August 2013, 28/4/2014, 4/8/.2014, 27/3/2015, 14 /4/2016
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