Sustainable Agriculture (Topic 20) The strength and longevity of any civilization depend on the ability to sustain the productive capacity of its agriculture. One must not confuse increasing crop yield with increasing soil productivity, because yield increases are primarily due to technological advances in crop breeding and genetics, fertilizers and fertilizer management, pesticides and pest management, and other agronomic technologies. Soil Productivity: the ability of a soil to produce food, fiber or forage Soil Quality: the ability of a soil to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support human health and habitation. Sometimes considered in relation to this capacity in the undisturbed, natural state. Sustainable Agriculture: the integration of agricultural management and technology to produce quality food and fiber while maintaining or increasing soil productivity, farm profitability, and environmental quality. Sustainability involves maintenance of favorable
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