The United States

In the United States, sustainability in agriculture implies quite a number of differing farming systems. A few are mentioned here to emphasize the range of systems American farmers adopt depending on his access to resources.

Precision farming, also called site-specific management system of farming, is defined as a management strategy that employs detailed site-specific information to precisely manage production input, tte philosophy behind precision agriculture is that production inputs should be applied only as needed for the most economic production (Searcy 1999). tte farmers employpersonal computers, telecommunications, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS) and other advanced technical expertise. From knowledge of soil and crop characteristics unique to each part of the field, the production inputs are optimized.

On the other end of the spectrum of farming systems is organic farming. As defined by the USDA Study Team on Organic Farming, this system avoids/largely excludes use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides and livestock feed additives. It relies upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, legumes, green manures, off-farm organic wastes, mechanical cultivation and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply nutrients and control weeds and other pests.

Perhaps, midway between the two extremes is low-input agriculture or low-input farming system. It seeks to optimize the management and use of internal production inputs or on-farm resources and to minimize use of production inputs or off-farm resources such as purchased fertilizers/pesticides whenever flexible and practicable to lower production costs, to avoid pollution of surface and ground water, to reduce pesticide residues in food, to reduce farmer's overall risk and to increase farm profitability (Parr et al. 1990).

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