Sustainable land management is a strategy to maximize the long-term productivity and resilience of land. To be most effective, such a strategy must take into account the resources of the land itself, the effects of the environment, and the impact of human activities.
What Is SLM?
Sustainable land management combines technologies, policies, and activities into a greater philosophy. Its goals include
- Maintaining and enhancing production on the land
- Improving the stability and resilience of the land
- Protecting natural resources to prevent soil and water quality degradation
- Maintaining economically viability, and
- Taking social responsibility to ensure equitable access to the benefits of improved land management
Implementing SLM can help farmers and farm communities improve the health, productivity, and profitability of their land over the long term.
Essential Components of SLM
Sustainable land management depends on partnerships among many different entities, including global policymakers as well as farmers. Farm owners have a direct impact on their land and the opportunity to monitor it most closely. Consulting with an expert in soil management can help you get a comprehensive picture of the health of your farmland and develop a plan for optimal use. A full-service soil management consultant will take a multi-pronged approach:
Soil mapping is the art of distinguishing the different soil types in the field into areas of similar characteristics. An experienced consultant can use GPS field mapping to help identify management zones and distinguish different soils within a field, creating a solid groundwork to begin soil sampling.
Soil testing involves analysis of soil samples to determine nutrient content, composition, and other characteristics such as pH level. It is a vital tool to help determine what a soil needs to be its most productive.
After soil testing is complete and data have been collected, an expert consultant can perform a thorough analysis determine what measures would most effectively improve soil and plant health and increase fertility.
Geographic information systems (GIS) technology incorporates high-resolution images, field observations, and real-time data feeds to help farmers understand how to make the most of their resources. It can help farmers plan precisely how much and what types of fertilizer to apply to each crop, how much and how often to water, and how to most effectively combat pests.
Benefits of SLM Tools
Incorporating SLM tools can increase productivity and efficiency across your entire farming operation. SLM gives you more accurate information about your soil. This, in turn, allows for more accurate (and often less) fertilizer and input use. Having a complete understanding of your soil and what it needs is invaluable. SLM tools help you build sustainable soil health for your entire farm, and consistency in soil health is essential.
Contact SoilRight for Full-Service Soil Management
SoilRight can help you take proactive steps to improve your soil. After analyzing your soil, we will develop a plan to improve its health and production. SLM can help you control costs, protect the environment, and increase the health of your soil—and we can help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.