Sustainability is one of the most monumental issues of this era. It affects everything, from housing to affordable goods.
A staggering 420 million hectares have been lost to deforestation over the last thirty years. A recent study found nearly half of Americans reporting living in higher temperatures than they’re used to. One way or another, sustainability will affect us in personal and financial ways.
When you increase sustainability in your agricultural investments, you set the stage for a healthier and more financially viable future. We’re going to look at the best methods below so you can get started as soon as possible.
Defining Sustainability in the Agricultural Space
What does sustainability mean for agriculture? At its most simple, it means the act of using clean and safe planting, harvesting, and processing methods.
While you may be tempted to think agriculture is leading the charge in green technology, the fact of the matter is quite different. Due to the increasingly high demand for quality produce and materials, agriculture relies on technological shorthands to meet its bottom line.
The best ways to increase sustainability as an agriculture investor means not using certain methods. These damaging methods include (but aren’t limited to):
- Pesticides and chemically enhanced fertilizer
- Genetically modified seeds
- Carbon emission heavy technology
While these techniques and products work well in the short-term, they’re incredibly damaging in the long-term. Pesticides are terrible for human consumption and carbon emissions chip away at the protective ozone layer.
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Invest in Smaller, Family-Owned Farms
There is a wealth of financial and social benefits to stepping outside of the mold. Small, family-owned farms are the backbone of many countries today.
While organic food accounts for around 5% of the American market, demand has been steadily increasing among several demographics. More and more consumers are inquiring about the brands they support. While convenience is still an important factor, there are growing concerns about:
- Farmer pay
- Animal welfare
- Food safety
- Food quality
- Giving back to the community
Smaller farms hit several high notes for today’s consumer base and are well on their way to becoming a new standard. With agriculture investors able to take advantage of tax benefits, there are beautiful partnerships just waiting to happen.
Reduce Insufficient Harvesting and Maintenance Methods
It’s understandable why so many farms have turned to high volumes of chemicals to harvest food. While pesticides are cheap in the short-term, they’re a very costly choice in the long-term.
Pesticides are one of the most damaging elements used in agricultural spaces. They’re used for their ability to eliminate harmful insect populations that damage crops, increasing harvests and thus increasing money. Sadly, they also eliminate helpful insect populations and pollute the very soil they’re protecting.
The ripple effect of pesticides also includes:
- Killing local wildlife populations, particularly birds
- Surrounding plants
- Harming workers (rashes, blisters, breathing problems)
- Harming consumers (long-term physical health issues)
Establish Multiple Income Streams for Farms
Farms are a bounty of potential income streams due to how easily they overlap with different industries. Sustainability means thinking in the long-term, not just what you can make six months from now.
Cash flow is essential for farms to remain up and running. Harvests must be carefully planned and scheduled to meet demand, particularly for household staples like coffee, rice, cotton, grain, and corn. Increasing sustainability as an agriculture investor means getting in touch with your creative side.
This is a popular income stream for small family-owned farms, as well as wineries and coffee lots. These provide additional education and entertainment to customer purchases, such as tours, seminars, and tasting rooms.
Farms have the potential to collaborate with several niches. App technology is highly useful for both tech companies and farmers, allowing them to exchange useful data to improve future harvests.
A great way to stay sustainable is to get the most out of your land. Renting to other farmers with the same (or similar) crops will generate cash flow while not letting a single acre go to waste.
Sustainability in the agricultural investment industry isn’t an option anymore. With climate change leaving new records in its wake, it’s time to take action.
Long-term sustainability means the difference between a farm that makes money today and a farm that makes money ten years from now. Consider thinking about all the ways your farm can start making money (or saving money) with some small changes.
Not sure where to get started with sustainability improvements? Visit Land Income to start improving your farm from the ground up, from yields to accessibility.