Sustainable Farming Practices
At Bellmann Specialty Produce, we use sustainable farming practices. Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. At its heart, sustainable practices sustain and improve the health and vitality of the entire farm environment: soil, water, air, plants, animals, and people. We work every day to preserve the land for future generations. Below you can read about the specific agricultural practices we employ.
Rotation of Crops
At BSP, we rotate our crops to avoid growing the same crop on the same ground two years in a row. Good crop rotation will help break any disease or insect cycles, control weeds, and improve overall soil health. This helps us further eliminate pesticides.
At BSP, we plant cover crops following harvest of the primary crop. These plants grow and cover the ground over the winter months and are worked back into the soil prior to planting primary crops again in the spring. Cover crops build soil organic matter, help in weed control, prevent soil erosion, and generate soil nitrogen. Cover crops are key in improving soil tilth.
Some cover crops, specifically legumes, are chosen for their ability to generate nitrogen in the soil. If we can grow nitrogen naturally, and improve organic matter at the same time, we can reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers.
Reducing and Eliminating Pesticides
Bellmann Specialty Produce continues to strive for reduction in the use of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides in growing all of our crops. Our farm is constantly working to develop and implement new mechanical means of weed and pest control. If sprays are necessary, we look to the organically approved list first.
Healthy soils are a key component of sustainability. A healthy soil will produce healthy crop plants that have optimum vigor and are less susceptible to pests. This may not always stop a crop from being attacked, but it has been proven that in conjunction with water and nutrient management you can prevent some problems brought on when crops are stressed or imbalanced in one of these areas. Good soil quality will result in fewer inputs of water, nutrients, pesticides and energy to maintain yields. We will be planting cover crops, reducing tillage, avoiding traffic on wet soils and maintaining additional soil cover with plants and mulches.
The Natural Step
Making the transition to sustainable agriculture is a process. For most farmers the transition to sustainable agriculture is a process of moving forward in small, realistic steps. The key to moving forward is the willingness to take the next step and we are committed to this at Bellmann Specialty Produce.