7 Practices of Sustainable Agriculture - FeraxFarm

What is sustainable agriculture? What are the 7 practices of sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture means protecting the environment and the earth’s natural resources, increasing soil fertility, and enhancing biodiversity.

Sustainable agriculture is agriculture that meets the food requirement of people and textile needs sustainably without affecting the ability of current or future generations to meet their own needs.

Besides helping conserve the environment, soil, and natural resources, sustainable agricultural farming produces organic agri products, as pesticides or chemical fertilizers are not used in sustainable agricultural methods.

What are the 7 Practices of Sustainable Agriculture?


Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is one of the 7 practices of sustainable agriculture, and it is an effective practice of sustainable agriculture. Crop rotation means growing different crops on the same field year after year or at different times of the year.

This agriculture practice aims to overcome the problems of growing the same crop on the same land for many years. Crop rotation helps with pest problems; many pests prefer certain crops to flourish.

If a steady food supply is available to pests, they can significantly increase their population and damage crops.

With crop rotation, the reproductive cycle of pests and preferable crops is interrupted; this helps perish the pest population. Farmers do not need to spray synthetic chemicals on their crops when the pest population is perished or is reduced to a minimal level.

Crop rotation also helps to supplement plant nutrients in the soil, thus increasing the soil fertility to grow healthy crops with good yields.

Less of No-Till Farming

Another sustainable agriculture practice is less or no tilling. Farmers in conventional agriculture plow farmland to prepare the soil for the plantation of crops.

However, tilling farmland harm vital organisms in the soil, cause loss of nutrients, releases large amounts of carbon, and causes soil erosion.

No-till or less tilling agricultural practice is a method to grow crops without disturbing the soil structure. No-till method leaves topsoil intact.

Farmers, in some methods, till the farmland once for crop cultivation and, at the end of the growing season, removes plant residues without disturbing the soil structure. 

Too much tilling causes several issues, such as loss of nutrients, water pollution, carbon emission, etc.

Less or no-till help prevent loss of nutrients in the soil, increase water retention, decrease soil erosion, enhance vital microorganisms in the soil, and help curb carbon emission.

If the no-till method is combined with other agricultural practices, the agricultural impacts on the environment would be less.

Also Read: Types of Organic Farming Practices


Agroforestry means using land that meets farmers’ production needs while providing environmental benefits.

Agroforestry practices planting trees in meadows and between trees. The method helps maintain soil moisture, temperature, and fertility. It also reduces soil erosion from rain and wind.

This agriculture practice aid maintains soil quality and nutrient preservation and helps reduce greenhouse gas emission. Fruits, vegetables, and other products cultivated in agroforestry are nutrient-rich and healthy.

Agroforestry is environment-friendly and helps increase farmers’ profits.

Agroforestry has been described as a winning approach for land management because this practice provides opportunities to use the land for more than one function.

It can benefit food and fuel production while protecting the environment and biodiversity and help farmers adapt to or reduce the impact of climate change.

Agroforestry encompasses three different farming approaches:

  • Silvoarable (trees and crops)
  • Silvopastoral (trees and livestock)
  • Agro-silvopastoral (trees with crops and livestock)

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Integrated pest management considers all available control methods and measures that prevent pest development and control their population while reducing risks to human health and the environment.

IPM relies on biological, chemical, physical, and cultural (crop-specific) management methods and techniques.

This agriculture practice improves the ecosystem and maintains balance in the soil crop ecosystem. Protect essential natural resources such as soil, water, and biodiversity and enhance ecosystem functions like pollination, healthy soil, and species diversity.

Using IPM, farmers can minimize pesticide use while reducing or minimizing pesticide risks to human health and the environment for sustainable agriculture and pest control.

Integrated pest management reduces production costs by reducing the use of pesticides; it produces better crop quality that can fetch better market prices and help increase farmers’ profitability. It also helps create fewer residues.

IPM contributes to farmers’ management by increasing their knowledge of the functioning of ecosystems.

Diversified Farming

Among the 7 practices of sustainable agriculture, diversified farming is one practice.  Growing more than one crop on an existing individual or large farm is called crop diversification and can be practiced by introducing a new specie or different variety.

It consists in growing more than one product of the same or different species in a given area by rotation or intercropping. It can be one of the most environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and sensible ways to reduce agricultural insecurity, particularly among small farmers.

The dynamic aspect of diversification involves the establishment of new crops or cropping systems that better suit existing environmental conditions while ensuring higher yields and profit. Farmers can reduce risk and gain access to national and international markets by growing different crop varieties.

Diversification can help cope with issues that harm the environment, aid in conserving natural resources like soil, water, and biodiversity, and improve the health of vital organisms in the soil, thus increasing soil fertility.

Plantation of Cover Crops

Cover crops are a beneficial practice for sustainable agriculture. Cover crops are plants grown for covering soil instead of harvesting.

Cover crops help prevent soil erosion, increase soil fertility and water retention capacity, enhance biodiversity, contribute to the environment, and aid in managing weeds and pests.

Crimson clover, Red clover, Peas, hairy vetch, and Velvet bean, like legume cover crops, help in nitrogen fixation and contribute to subsequent crop nitrogen demand.

Positive results such as crop yield increase, enhanced organic matter in the soil, and attraction of pollinators towards farms have been shown by cover crops.

Several studies worldwide on cover crops show that these crops can increase crop yields. The benefits of increased crop yields are often seen after just one year of using cover crops.

Also, using cover crops for several years in the rotation, farmers see additional benefits, such as improved soil and biodiversity health.

Integration of Livestock and Crops

In sustainable agriculture, livestock has a vital role. Integrating crops and livestock can make agriculture more efficient and profitable. Creating open-range pastures for animals can benefit the land and the animals.

Including livestock in agriculture- gardens, grains, and vegetable farms can contribute to soil fertility, soil organic matter, and agriculture resilience and help control weeds and pests.

This practice provides a new source of income, and farmers can minimize expenses for chemicals, fuel, and fertilizers and add a new dimension to their farms.

Animal grazing control weeds and, recycle plant matter, provide manure, which enriches the soil with nutrients. Also, animals provide meat, milk, and other things.

Livestock is a secondary activity that allows farmers to sell crops or livestock or both at times of need. If a crop fails, a farmer can still use it for livestock, so livestock provides an additional income for a farmer.

Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture

Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

Due to the fast environmental degradation, research shows that protecting natural resources and the ability to grow food is vital.

Sustainable agriculture aims to produce sufficient crops in the short term without harming the environment in the long run.

Sustainable agriculture increases farmers’ profit, reduces farming costs, and contributes to the environment. Also, products are safer for consumers as harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are avoided in this agriculture.

When managed sustainably, agricultural activities can protect and restore vital habitats and help protect the environment, biodiversity, soil health, and water quality. Unsustainable practices negatively impact people and the environment.

Sustainable management of resources is an urgent need in today’s world; as the world’s population increases, the demand for agricultural products is also growing rapidly.

Practicing sustainable agricultural methods can help the world today and aid future generations in fulfilling their demands. 

Deep ties between the world economy, human community, environment, and biodiversity with agriculture make it one of the world’s most crucial conservation frontiers.


Sustainable agriculture is a way to balance the pressures of increased food demand and future food production.

The concept of sustainability is based on protecting beneficial resources, taking advantage of them, and conserving them for future generations. Sustainability is based on the management of individuals and natural resources.

Environment and natural resources are significantly influenced by agriculture. Sustainable agricultural practices aim to protect the climate, soil, and resources and produce enough food to feed the people.

There are several methods of sustainable farming; this article mentioned 7 practices of sustainable agriculture; these practices help protect the environment, improve soil fertility and organic matter, aid natural resources, enhance biodiversity, and help farmers reduce farming costs and increase profits.


Leave a Comment