Breath The Freshness Of A Good Environment

Living in a save environment is leaving fresh and green, it is best developement mankind can attain.

Form A Round Opening With Your Thumb And A Finger

Look through the whole and imagine what Environment Go! Imagines of a totally green environment, Awesome Imagination.

How Does It Feel To Lie On A Save Green Lawn Thanking God For Nature?

To Environment Go!, It feels perfect and breath-taking.

Go Green: Tips For An Eco-friendly Small Farm

If you have a small farm, it is easy to implement eco-friendly practices. You will be able to save yourself money and the environment by using techniques such as no-till farming and natural animal grazing. While you should still use the feed mixers South Africa has to offer to keep your animals fed and healthy, you can eliminate the need to use other equipment. Below is some advice you can follow to go green and enjoy an eco-friendly small farm.

Invest in vermicomposting

This may sound like you are composting with vermin but in actual fact, vermicompost is the product of the composting process using various species of worms. It is an effect green farming technique which is ideal for small or hobby farms.

You will be practising eco-friendly farming with vermicomposting because you will limit the amount of waste you will throw away and the soil nutrients will improve significantly. Using worms as part of natural compost has been shown to increase the fertility of the soil too, making for a better crop yield.

Try hydroponics

Hydroponic growing is no longer a mystery but has become a common practice among eco-friendly farmers and gardeners. It is an effective, simple and efficient manner of growing certain crops and herbs.

Instead of growing crops or vegetables in the ground, hydroponic growing sees the crops grown inside a series of tubes in a nutrient-rich water solution. If you house this system indoors, you will be able to grow crops such as vegetables all year long, saving you from having to till and prepare land during the year. Another perk is that you can save up 80% more water than if you had grown the vegetables in the soil.

Water strategically

When watering your crops or even just watering the pasture, it is important to water strategically. Instead of setting your sprinklers to activate at certain times of the day, rather water at night so there is less evaporation. This will mean you water the land less than if you did so during the day.

Not only will you be saving water, you will also be strengthening the roots of your crops and increasing the moisture of your soil. If you feel you must water during the day, avoid doing so at the peak hours, where the sun is at its highest. Rather choose to water early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the day is cooler.
Practise crop rotation
If you plant crops, an eco-friendly way to improve your ‘green footprint’ is to implement crop rotation when planting. It is one of the easiest ways to maintain the health of your soil, and reduces – and in some cases – eliminates the need to use fertiliser.

Grass and legumes used in crop rotation are highly beneficial as they protect the water quality by preventing excess nutrients or chemicals from entering the water supplies. Using crop rotation correctly can help in destroying the spread of diseases, as well as reduce soil erosion on your farm. Your crops will become more robust and the health of your soil will improve ten-fold.

Use local crops

Planting crops which grow locally is more effective than planting crops which are not local to your region. Crops which are not suited for your region may be difficult to grow, requiring more resources such as fertiliser and herbicide.

If you live in an arid region, then farming crops local to the region makes sense. They will be more accustomed to drought and harsh weather conditions, and may need less water to survive. You will also lessen the damage caused on the soil by not having to use herbicides or pesticides on plants. Growing local crops is much friendlier to the environment than trying to force crops to grow in an environment they will not flourish in.
Use organic pest control
If you notice that you have insects in your crops which are causing problems, you should avoid reaching immediately for the pesticide. A natural way to eliminate pests is to use organic pest control, meaning that you use beneficial insects to rid your crops of the pests.

You can also look into purchasing bats or birds to keep for ridding you of larger pests, and store them in a shelter or aviary when you are not letting them out to catch rats or eat insects. If you do not want to spend money on animals, you can create an environment which they will naturally turn to live in. You will reduce the amount of pesticides used by choosing organic pest control over chemicals.

Final thoughts

Green farming does not have to be a chore. It can be an enjoyable and exciting endeavour with rewarding results. It is simple, natural and an inexpensive way to reduce your farm’s environmental impact and improve your crop yields. Be sure to research any eco-friendly methods you would like to implement to be sure that you understand them completely.

Article Submitted By:
Michelle Jones
a 1 The Crescent, Durbanville.
South Africa.

For EnvironmentGo!

Tips for livestock farmers during a drought

Farming during a drought is a challenging and stressful time and activity for farmers. It brings about a change in many, if not all, farming processes and calls for innovation and smart farming practices.

Luckily, there are ways for farmers to protect their crops and even their livestock during a drought period.

This article will be focussed specifically on livestock farmers and what they can do to protect these
assets during drought periods.
Start To Save

It pays to be proactive. And in the case of livestock farming in a drought, it pays to save money and
start a “drought fund” before things get incredibly difficult. 

What you need to understand is that the cost of everything will rise during a drought period. 
Water tariffs and livestock feed, for example, will rise in cost and if you don’t have a stack of savings by then, you’ll be forced to cull from your stock or you’ll risk losing them all to drought-related illnesses and conditions.

Another element you can start saving on in the meantime is hay bales.
Having a hay-reserve on-hand will help when it comes to ensuring there is always a source of feed for your livestock.

Also, the price of hay bales is one of the costs that will go up as the drought develops and you would
rather save on that cost and spend the money where it is needed elsewhere.

Create Shaded Areas

Heat stress in your animals is a common reality when drought periods come to visit and there is limited water and loads of sun.

Unfortunately, you can’t install air conditioners in the fields and hope they work to keep your livestock cool.

What you can do is create shaded areas or restrict your herds to areas that already have plenty of shade.
This will prevent heat stroke, exhaustion and stress to some degree.

 It will also be a smart idea to build drought-proof water sites that aren’t in the middle of nowhere where your livestock needs to travel long distances in the heat to get to.

There should also be shaded coverings for these water points as an effort to reduce evaporation and
keep the water drinkable.
Letting them wander by night as opposed to being crowded in a barn can also help the animals deal with heat stress.

Have a restricted area around the barn to allow them the freedom to walk outside for some fresh air and personal space. 

Focus On The Feed

Feed is generally the main problem (aside from water shortage) that arises during a drought. No amount of feed should be wasted by careless distribution and there may come a time when alternative feed sources need to be incorporated. Supplements will need to be given to your livestock to keep them strong, healthy and somewhat drought-resistant. By using a feed mixer you can ensure that nutrients from the feed are equally distributed. Schedule feeding rations and times for your animals to limit the amount of feeding that happens over the drought period as a means of prolonging your feeding supplies.

Manage Your Pastures

Grazing can become a problem in the drought period because there is less or slowed grass growth.
But managing them now will help when the time comes to rejuvenate the pastures after the drought.

A few pasture management tips to consider and implement to maintain both your pastures and
livestock in a drought include:

Daily grazing:  By implementing daily grazing in smaller grazing paddocks (achieved through
fencing), you’ll be allowing pastures a recovery period. Having more cattle in a smaller area will
also encourage them all to eat in competition before all the grass is gone for the day.
That’s why combining herds is another pasture-managing tactic.
It will also lead to less fencing costs and easier budgeting of pasture reserves and allow the
grass enough time to recover.

Remaining stubble:  A good practice to encourage your pastures to keep growing is to leave as
tall grass stubble as possible. Keeping your stubble between 15 and 25cm can protect your soil
by helping it to retain moisture and hold-out for a longer period of time in the drought.
And this can be achieved through daily grazing rotations.

Have a hay-break: If you notice that your pastures are struggling to keep up with the grazing
demands and isn’t growing at a fast enough rate, have a hay-break.
Feeding your livestock hay for a couple weeks will give your pastures a break and allow them
to regrow before the next grazing rotation.

Culling and Destock When Necessary
A reality that many livestock farmers don’t want to face is having to destock and cull their livestock
when the circumstances are absolutely necessary.

Not every livestock asset will be able to adapt to the drought-farming regulations of crowded grazing,
rationed feed and the stress of the heat.

 There will be animals that grow weaker and they should be the first to go when culling considerations are in place. You need to think of your breeding core and not allow other livestock to threaten those core animals that will carry you through the drought and pick your farm back up when it’s over.
But before culling becomes necessary, first consider destocking and selling the assets you can while
they are still viable. Understand that many farmers will be doing the same thing so the profit behind
selling your livestock shouldn’t be a high expectation.

 Drought is a difficult time for many, but mostly for farmers. At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do and then it’s up to hoping for rain and shorter drought-period.

Michelle Jones
1 The Crescent, Durbanville