A lot of "think tanks" are trying to define sustainable agriculture today. This discussion will have a huge impact on the way we farm in the future. Have rubbed shoulders with these people and they really have an agenda that over-rides science and stewardship. They love no-till, but have problems with commercial fertilizer and GMO's. We do some no-till, but if we had to go organic no-till, i don't think i could make that work. Most organic farmers in my area, wear their soil out with tillage and use fossil fuels in their tractors, but that is sustainable???? Producers need to engage in this discussion---- look what these people have accomplished in the livestock industry. Crate size, sow pens and ECT. If you think we can't loose GMO's, ag chemicals and commercial fertilizer and we will never be mandated organic production----you better think again.
Great discussion below on the "cash operation" thread. I have done the debt thing and now the cash thing. At this point in my life the system that works for me is having my wonderful wife by my side, a day when my 83 year old dad can work with me and have a good day and watching him have so much patience and love when he is working with my son. My definition of sustainability is watching 3 generations working side by side on a farm that was homesteaded by my family. It is not about cash or debt, it is about the people and love and respect. The family on the journey is more important then the destination.