With now 12% of Britons claiming to follow a vegetarian or plant-based diet, it cannot be denied that the animal agriculture industry is under a microscope. Scientific and news reports have stated that the animal agriculture industry is a significant contributor to climate change. So, this begs the question, how can meat and dairy farms change to fit with an eco-conscious ethically minded generation?
The demand for meat and dairy products won’t decline quickly, but farmers need to be making choices as to how they can stay in business and become more eco-friendly.
Improve welfare standards
Fairtrade, free range and organic are words that are thrown around the supermarket and educated in schools and colleges to students. Free Range and Organic are synonymous with better quality meat and dairy as well as the animals living a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. Though, with inconsistent welfare standards around the country, how can you know if your farm is doing the right thing for the animals and for the environment?
Farmers need to strive to adopt better welfare standards in their farms. If you are unsure whether your farm is doing the right thing, just naturally assess how the animals live, where are they kept, what water and food provisions do they have, what health care is provided and have you adopted humane slaughtering methods? If there anything you can improve?
If you aren’t sure, continually have your farm assessed by animal welfare experts to improve your standards and stick to them. Always make sure that you are giving your livestock the best life that it can lead and don’t cut corners to sustain yield.
Convert agricultural land to plant crops
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and your farm’s agricultural impact. Why not consider converting some of your farmland into land to grow crops. Not only will this decrease your meat and dairy production, but it will also increase your production of perishable plants.
Protein crops require less fertiliser usage, creates better crop rotations, and minimises your reliance on the animal agriculture industry.
In order to convert your land to grow crops, you will need to have a site survey and you will need to educate yourself on whether to change the facilities that you have and what kind of crops will be the easiest to grow.
Reduce agricultural waste
One of the key ways to reduce your farms carbon footprint is to reduce the agricultural waste that your farm produces. This could be from the fertilisers that you use, to pesticides, and using techniques like monocropping.
In order to reduce your agricultural waste, establish practises like crop rotation, and using non toxic fertilisers and biopesticides.
Build waterways around animal agriculture fields to reduce the impact of manure leaking into the water and crops. Though manure can be used as a fertiliser, make sure it is analysed for nutrient content.
If you want to have your agricultural waste removed, contact J.H Willis & Son here to find out more.