In order to sustain livestock and crops, every small farm depends on clean water. Usually, farmers use wells or irrigation water from near ponds, rivers, or lakes. It doesn’t matter where the water comes from; all that is important is getting consistent freshwater.
But unfortunately, groundwater pollution has increased in recent years, and it is a destructive problem for agriculture. Thus, it is crucial for small farmers to know the pollution risks properly and how they can be prevented. In this article, we will discuss water pollution and how you can keep the water clean as a small farmer.
Reason for water pollution
We divided water pollution into two sources even though there are different reasons.
- Point Sources
- Nonpoint Sources
When water is polluted from a single source, it is known as a point source. Therefore, you can easily track water pollution. For instance, the leaky pipeline is one of the common sources of freshwater pollution.
This is also known as runoff which happens due to the over-saturated soil. Over-saturated soil cannot retain moisture. Therefore, due to over-irrigation, heavy rain, or floods, a farmer can face nonpoint water pollution.
So, how can you protect the groundwater from pollution? Keep in mind that this pollution can occur due to the water forces when it is out of control. Thus, farmers need to follow some strategies to reduce the risks.
- Reduce the use of chemicals
- Utilize the Crop Buffers
- Limit the grazing range of livestock
Reduce the use of chemicals
Usually, farmers use pesticides to grow crops quicker, which is not ideal. And this is one of the most harmful pollutants to the land. These pesticides pollute water; hence you need to consider minimizing using these chemicals on your land.
Utilize the Crop Buffers
Even though you use fences around crops, bacteria from the manure still travel occasionally near the water supply. That’s why small farmers are encouraged to apply the crop buffer method between the water source and grazing. For instance, a simple plot of grass can absorb water that can cause bacteria.
Limit the grazing range of livestock
Generally, to the water supply, bacteria could grow. So, it is very crucial to build a fence around the farm to keep it safe from animals that carry bacteria.
Practice Good Management
When it comes to protecting water quality, practicing good management is a must for farmers. Usually, there are three ways to protect water; these are limited animals from using the water streams, ponds, and so on for drinking water. You need to practice a good fencing system to keep farms from animals.
To protect water quality, you need to manage manure since it is a great source of primary nutrients, which is essential for plant growth. For example, it provides potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Moreover, manure is perfect for organic matter that increases the capacity of soil to hold water, which improves the quality.
Manure is also a great source of nutrients for the plants they need. When you properly manage the water surface, this keeps bacteria from keeping out of the farm. Also, it keeps essential nutrition as well plus keeps bacteria away.
Keep in mind that when the plants are not growing, you need to collect manure. And you can use them when plants are growing.
To protect water on your small farm, you need to remember a few things:-
- When you properly manage crops, it acts like a filter that keeps nutrients.
- Heavy rains or water irrigation is harmful since it encourages pesticides to seep into the soil.