As an irrigated cropping systems agronomist I work on ways to sustain agriculture. In doing this, I have come to realize that there are certain requirements that agriculture must meet to produce food and to keep producing food (yes, fiber too, and other non-food products, but mainly we are concerned with food production). Here are my essentials for sustaining agricultural production: Protect the soil Maintain soil fertility Use water efficiently Protect the crop
Managing pests is an important part of cultivating plants whether you are tending a small garden in your yard or several fields of crops. Insect predators can make short work of healthy plants, particularly if insect predators are in abundance. The good news is that there are natural ways to combat these pests that growers have been utilizing for many years. Granted, not all solutions are created equal. There are a number of reasons why biological control efforts may fail; including breeding being out of sync or the countermeasure not being strong enough. The primary points of biological pest control are: Classic Biological Control Conservation Augmentation Each offers its own pros and cons with success hinging on a large number of factors that is impossible to completely define. Even still, these methods have traditionally been effective for a number of growers and have been used since the dawn of farming.
The issue of pest resistance to insect resistant Bt crops receives regular media attention, partly because anti-biotechnology lobbies use it as an argument to vilify GM crops. The German NGO testbiotech, in a recently published report commissioned by Member of the European Parliament Martin Häuslingof the Green Party, argues that because of potential resistance development, GM crops should not be allowed for cultivation in the EU: There must be no large-scale, commercial cultivation of GE herbicide-tolerant or insecticide-producing crops. Such crop cultivation is unsustainable and will lead to a ‘race’ to step up their cultivation. The idea that a particular technology should be banned if it cannot be used forever is dangerously misguided.