Sustainable Agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices” having a site-specific application that will last over the long term:
- Satisfy human food and fiber needs
- Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
- Sustain the economic viability of farm operations
- Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
FTV’s Sustainable Agriculture Fund focuses on four main drivers that impact Sustainable Agriculture:
- Energy: Waste to Energy is a recognized asset class and includes proven technology like Anaerobic Digestion, Gensets and Organic Rankine Cycle as well as emerging technology like Fuel Cells
- Water: Reclaiming waste water using methods like Membrane treatment and rapid biological removal
- Soil: Land preservation and more efficient crop yields through enhanced fertilizer techniques, composting, palletizing and cake products
- Air: Reducing emissions like methane and carbon dioxide as well as dust from tillage, traffic and harvest; pesticide drift from spraying; and nitrous oxide emissions from the use of nitrogen fertilizer by using Anaerobic Digesters, employing composting techniques and more efficient
With a PPA from a public utility, installation of proven technology like an Anaerobic Digester and genset, a 3BL return opportunity reflects:
- Reduced methane emission from a dairy while simultaneously reclaiming water and providing fertilizer for farm operations
- Generate more ag jobs and supporting construction and maintenance jobs
- Locked-in return on power production while innovating in the emerging techs (preferred return from the incubator).