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Modern industrial agriculture is not sustainable because of its heavy reliance on petroleum, a non-renewable source of the energy used in farming, and because of pollution caused by petroleum products such as fertilizers and pesticides. A systems analysis of farming suggests that agriculture will be more sustainable when services of nature, such as nutrient recycling by soil micro-organisms and natural controls of insects, replace the services now provided by energy from petroleum. Examples are drawn from the Southeastern USA, but lessons learned can be applied worldwide.
Table of Contents
A Systems (Holistic) Approach to Sustainable Agriculture.- A History of Unsustainability in Agriculture.- Political and Economic Challenges to Creating a Sustainable Agriculture.- Energetic Services of Nature That Increase Agricultural Sustainability.- Applied Tools and Practices For Sustainable Agriculture.- An Economic, Ecological, and Cultural Evaluation of Agriculture in The American South.- Case Studies of Contemporary, Sustainable Farms in the South.- Holism vs. Reductionism in Agricultural Science.- Appendices.