It is a little known fact that nitrogen and other fertilizers are nearly all imported from India and China. And as those domestic markets increase with their own domestic growth, this could lead to shortfalls and higher prices that are unsustainable in the future. And importing inputs from different continents adds to your food miles and energy being used to create that food (it can be likened to that of an animal’s carbon footprint).
Animals that are intensively produced are fed by large automatic hoppers that are restocked periodically by arctics full with concentrates, brought on to the farm from a mill. The ingredients for which will have been intensively produced from farms that can be great distances away.
When you add the fuel being consumed by all the automated equipment to plough, plant, fertilize, apply pesticides, harvest and mill the produce it becomes significant. It is all heavily based on oil and as we have been given a date for oil production running out this is not seen as sustainable.
To avoid the use of unnecessary farm inputs, hay can be grown without the use of pesticides or any artificial fertilizers, then bailed and stored on the farm where it is used as a food supplement during the winter. We believe these traditional farming methods have a lower environmental impact but are still effective for today’s food production. It allows our farm livestock and the wildlife to live in harmony.
The older methods of farming which used very little farm inputs are what Riverwood Farm strive for.