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Green Farming – a Guide to Environmentally Friendly Equipment
by Pete McAllister
January 10, 2021

The agricultural industry makes a substantial negative impact on the environment. Many more farmers are proactive in looking to change their farming techniques and use equipment that will help prevent more harm from being done. Here is a guide to environmentally friendly farm equipment.

Fertilizer

Modern farmers use chemical herbicides and fertilizers to kill weeds and help crops to grow. To make a switch to green farming, this method needs to be changed because these chemicals pollute the air, water, and soil. When these chemicals run into bodies of water containing organisms, it kills these creatures and destroys ecosystems.

To increase plant fertility naturally and increase yield, a piece of equipment known as a roller-crimped can be used. When dragged through fields of crops, this machine breaks up the cell walls of plants and speeds up their decomposition. This is useful for creating cover crops that provide continuous ground cover to protect the soil surface against forces such as wind and rain. Over time the soil structure is improved by the increase in organic matter from decaying plants.

Tractors

A tractor is probably an essential item for any farm, even if you are trying to have as few items of machinery as possible.

Traditional tractors are powered by engines fueled by diesel or gasoline and have transmissions powered with hydraulic fluids. In recent times, tractors have become available that are powered by a series of rechargeable electronic batteries.

Electric tractors are less expensive to maintain because they have fewer motorized parts than traditional tractors, and they won't need as much time spent on them filling fuel tanks, checking oil, and changing filters.

No-Till Farming

Millions of tons of soil from croplands are lost annually due to water and wind erosion. Heavy tillage also destroys the soil structure and life-forms that nourish plants, meaning that more fertilizer will be needed. To overcome these problems, farmers can adopt a no-till or low-till farming technique.

A roller/crimper is a long cylinder with blades that crimp the stems of cover crop plants to kill them and create a mulch. The mulch suppresses weeds – diminishing the need for chemical weed killers, and conserves moisture while adding organic matter to the soil.

Irrigation

Green farmers should adopt a method of irrigation that helps conserve water and energy.

There are many kinds of irrigation, such as drip systems, which deliver water to the roots of the crops via below ground pumps. Surface methods rely on gravity to move water downhill across the land, and manual systems that require farmers to carry water to the crops manually. To be even more environmentally conscious, water can be obtained from wells, rainwater collection, a local water utility, or even from treated wastewater. It is essential that the water source is kept clean and that there is sufficient to keep crops healthy.

Unique computerized irrigation systems can be installed that will activate sprinklers at certain times of the day when the water has the least chance of being evaporated.

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