Sustainability on the farm is of the utmost importance to farmers. After all, our farm is our livelihood, so it makes sense to have good practice on the farm.
Disclosure – This post is written in partnership with Canadian Beef. All thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.
Some of the things we do on our farm to promote sustainability are:
No-Till Cropping – Using chemical plowing instead of conventional plowing to reduce soil damage and erosion maintains soil structure. Using this method, we reduce fuel use, preserve soil moisture (we are the driest region in Ontario). This method also saves us dollars on fuel and equipment costs.
Keeping Cattle Out of Water Courses – Another step we take with regard to sustainability is to keep our water systems clean by keeping our cattle away from the streams on our farm. They have access to clean drinking water from our barns and ponds, but the streams remain protected from damage from cattle.
Windbreaks – We have planted windbreaks that helps control wind erosion. Because we live on an island that has less than 1 ft of soil over bedrock on 90% of the island, soil is important for growing pasture and crops, and we cannot afford to lose any to soil erosion.
Sustainability on the Farm
The McNaughton Farm has been a no-till farm since 1994. John and his father implemented creek bed rehabilitation and stabilization of erosion zones, and planted trees for windbreaks, erosion control, and stream bank stabilization. There is a fish sanctuary on our property. John has employed strategic fencing practices to minimize disruption to natural lands and to keep livestock out of critical waterways.
Our family wants to encourage others to rethink Canadian beef environmentally. In terms of environmental sustainability, at 0.04%, Canadians should be proud that beef production in this country has one of the lowest greenhouse gas footprints in the world.
Government of Canada. (2016). National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada: 1990-2014; The Canadian Government’s Submission to the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change http://unfccc.int/national/reports/annexighginventories/nationalinventoriessubmissions/items/9492.php
Did You Know?
- Canadian beef farmers and ranchers work with conservation groups like Cows and Fish to safeguard streams and creeks.
- Beef farmers work with conservation experts to develop and invest in Environmental Farm Plans to keep water safe.
- Latest research verifies conservation efforts have lead to a 20% decrease in the amount of ground & surface
water used to produce beef in 2011 compared to 1981
If you’d like to read more, head over here.
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you’ll know that John’s goal (and motto) is to “leave the land in better shape than when it was given to him.”