NINE MILE

Management Consulting

Sustainability of Agriculture
Impacts of the Industrialization Process
April 2013

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Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved. The Nine Mile Management Consulting Group

T. Managing Soil Quality. In other words. Factors currently threatening the integrity of land. plant nutrient retention. where the land is able to sustain its agricultural integrity in response to outside disturbances. Christensen). B. In other words. and contributing to human health and demand for agricultural products surround soil and food quality: is the soil abundant in rich nutrients. (Page 11. This accurately defines the meaning of sustainability as it relates to the concept of biological productivity. pesticides. Robustness. Challenges in Modern Agriculture. Soil PH.T. mineralizable N. With regard to the environment. productivity is a combination of what the land produces in its current state. are the methods being used to protect food quality adding to their excellence or harm? The following definition of soil quality can impact the demand that investors possess when searching to purchase healthy plots of farmland. Risks and danger thresholds include: production volumes. Christensen). B. are some of the applied tests in order to measure risk and the presence of danger thresholds within all soil environments. maintain or enhance water and air quality. enough to amplify the quality of the resultant food products? Are the products adequate and reliable? In other words. (Page 7.” Therefore. such as global warming.Nine Mile Management Consulting Group April. three critical factors are currently influencing the concerns of investors when they are purchasing land for reasons surrounding soil quality. or other environmental changes. and chemical contaminants.T. total C and N. considerations for its health and integrity must be taken into account before there can be any productivity or sustainability leveraged out of it. Challenges in Modern Agriculture. Olsen P. Christensen): “Soil quality is the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function. soil and plant resistance against pathogens. B. and support human health and habitation. Managing Soil Quality. which is the resilience of a system in response to a perturbation or threat. 2013 Sustainability of Agriculture Within the industrialization process of land. As the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) has written on the topic of soil quality (Page 6. and they are:  Biological Productivity  The Environment  Human Health Biological productivity encompasses capabilities that segments of land possess in order to determine their stability and efficiency during stress events. Challenges in Modern Agriculture. bulk density and macroporosity. health and safety for animal and human consumption. soil function and structural form are crucial when examining the environmental resilience and performance of land over time. within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries. can refer to the ecological sustainability of land. in addition to its ecological stability and resilience over time. the question of whether land can sustain itself under the long-term pressures of environmental changes or biological threats such as global warming or chemical contamination can therefore render the demand of land obsolete. to sustain plant and animal productivity. Managing Soil Quality. 2|Page .

(Milla Petkovic. lead. 1 if farm sales exceeds $10. To conclude. 0 otherwise. and last summer’s unseasonably warm temperatures causing draught. Lagerwerff.demonstrates the influence each relevant variable possesses within the complex value chain in order to determine the flexibility. Figure 1. contamination levels. 0 otherwise. and 3|Page . This will ultimately impact future investment opportunities since health and environmental quality constraints reflect a risky and unsustainable set of variables. (Page 161. 0 otherwise. 1 if the producer works more than 200 days off the farm. and sanitization strategies are all vital and important since soil quality is a critical function of agricultural sustainability. Factors Affecting the Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices). 1 if the producer has more than a high school education. particularly with the impending threat of global warming and climate change. 2013 Lastly. 0 otherwise. Page 160. groundwater and education. the risk of finding sustainable techniques is clear.Nine Mile Management Consulting Group April. 0 otherwise. human health is measured in direct relation to soil fertility and soil health. and results. Scoring algorithms that measure nutrient cycling. 0 otherwise. In Ontario. 0 otherwise. the above-mentioned metals [especially cadmium] are routinely applied to soils and crops .1. In addition to soil quality.V. Contamination of Vegetation with cadmium. (Gerard D’Souza. performance. 1 if the producer participates in government farm programs. (J.1. 0 otherwise. observable in Figure 1. the impacts of global warming.000. sustainable agriculture can be measured using a broad class of environmental. 0 if a non-adopter or “conventional” producer. and zinc. in an article entitled Contamination of vegetation with cadmium. sales. nickel. nickel. and can impact the demand for present as well as future financial investment. 1 if the producer is aware that ground water contamination presently exists on the farm. labor. contamination. strategies. 1 if the producer is over 55 years old. as they directly correspond with present and future financial performance. 1 if the producer uses hired labor. water infiltration and retention. According to J. Metronews). and sustainability of all decisions. have caused agriculture and the impurity of food quality to increase at an extraordinary rate. financial. and education variables. waste management.1 – Definition of Variables Used in the Sustainable Agriculture Adoption Model Dependent Variable ADOPTER/NON-ADOPTER Description 1 if the producer adopts package of sustainable agriculture techniques.V. 1 if the producer’s farm-related debt/asset ratio exceeds 10 percent. lead. D’souza). It uncovers important relationships between each relevant variable. and the frameworks for evaluating soil quality. including: impact of debt. AGE EDUCATION GROUNDWATER EMPLOYMENT SALES GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS LABOR DEBT/ASSET Figure 1. Sustainable Agricultural Practices. along with increasing levels of hazardous metal deposits and lethal soil contamination. Lagerwerf.

and Citibank.Nine Mile Management Consulting Group April. and agile solution for your company. agricultural performance must be examined in direct alignment with sustainability.V. Lagerwerf. Challenges in Modern Agriculture. and zinc. Christensen. Barclays. The results are frightening when you consider that cardiovascular disease has been related to both inhaled and ingested doses of these metals. page 583) (Managing Soil Quality. flexible.T. lead. Nine Mile Management Consulting can provide a robust. 2013 zinc. With our latest and most innovative models. page 583). Page 7). and the degree to which the human resources impact the environmental ones. Therefore. Our solutions have been used across the globe for such companies as: GE. nickel. 4|Page . Contamination of Vegetation with cadmium. B. (J.