All farmers know that, at some point, they will have waste to get rid of and manage. This can be anything from water run-off from crops to feed waste from livestock. If you are interested in becoming a more eco-friendly farm, then you will need to investigate more environmentally-friendly ways to manage this waste.
One of the first steps to take is to speak to professionals about installing a water purifier on your farm so that you can attempt to reuse some of the water from your daily tasks. Another way to manage waste sustainably is to compost instead of using chemical fertilisers.
Interested in implementing eco-friendly farming techniques? Below are some tips on how to manage your waste in an environmentally-friendly way.
Put animal waste to good use
If you farm livestock, the chances are that you have mountains of manure and feed to deal with. Rather than simply taking them to a dump, you should put it to good use on your farm, decreasing the amount of waste you produce and decreasing your impact on the environment.
Composting with animal feed waste and manure is one of the most effective ways to handle waste in an eco-friendly manner. You will be able to shift those piles of manure that keep growing and create a rich, natural fertiliser for your crops. Be sure that you only add biodegradable waste to your compost, as this will help the fertility and health of the soil.
Store feed correctly
Feed is one of the major components of farm waste. In order to stop it from going to waste and having to get rid of it, you should store it correctly. This means storing it in a cool, dark place that cannot be reached by moisture or water.
If your feed becomes mouldy or wet, you will have to dispose of it, creating more waste. You will also be keeping feed fresher for longer, which will save you money in the long run too. Try to ensure that all feed is kept out of direct sunlight, such as in a barn or a shed that is in a shady area. Keep the feed containers off the ground by placing them on pallets or bricks so that no moisture from the ground can seep in.
Invest in on-farm water treatment systems
Wastewater and sludge are not only produced by factories and companies. Farms need to look into effective methods to manage their wastewater too and can do so by building wastewater treatment ponds.
These ponds act as a way to filter water. And you can use some of the water in these ponds to send through a water purifier so you can reuse the water for your crops. Water treatment ponds are highly effective and are a low-cost way to manage the wastewater on your farm. They improve the water quality by allowing settlement of particles and pathogens and by exposing pathogens to the environment.
Use technology to monitor resource use
You will find that more and more farmers are looking to technology to help them monitor their resource use. This can particularly be seen in Sweden, where digital sensors are being used to monitor and control fertiliser use.
When the levels of nitrogen are below a certain level, a mechanism applies fertiliser to bring them back to normal levels. A similar system can measure the moisture levels in the soil and if they find the soil is too dry, they will open valves on the irrigation system and water the soil. By using technology, you will know exactly when to use fertiliser and water, instead of having to guess and use too much, wasting water and resources.
Grow crops that use less water
Water waste is one of the major problems that farmers face on a regular basis. If you would like to decrease the amount of water that you use on your crops, you could look into growing crops that use less water.
While this might sound difficult, water-wise crops can save you money, time and decrease the waste that your farm produces. For example, you could grow grapes and olives rather than tomatoes or bananas, as grapes and olives require much less water to flourish. Or you could invest in water-efficient maize. But you must be sure that the crops you choose to grow are suitable for your area and will be able to flourish with less water.
If you are able to find water specialists who can offer you a water purifier, you can use this to help you farm more thoughtfully. For example, you can switch over to organic farming and use compost instead of fertiliser. You should always ensure that your feed is stored correctly so it does not become mouldy or wet, and build a wastewater pond to filter your wastewater on your farm. Farming thoughtfully and keeping the environment in mind is a sure-fire way to decrease and manage your waste.