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SERVICES

The remainder of this document considers specific strategies for realizing these broad themes or goals. The strategies are grouped according to three separate though related areas of concern :

Farming and Natural Resources, Plant and Animal Production Practices, and the Economic, Social and Political Context. They represent a range of potential ideas for individuals committed to interpreting the vision of sustainable agriculture within their own circumstances.

Soil management : A common philosophy among sustainable agriculture practitioners is that a "healthy" soil is a key component of sustainability; that is, a healthy soil will produce healthy crop plants that have optimum vigor and are less susceptible to pests.

Efficient use of inputs : Many inputs and practices used by conventional farmers are also used in sustainable agriculture. Sustainable farmers, however, maximize reliance on natural, renewable, and on-farm inputs. Equally important are the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a particular strategy. Converting to sustainable practices does not mean simple input substitution.

Consideration of farmer goals and lifestyle choices : Management decisions should reflect not only environmental and broad social considerations, but also individual goals and lifestyle choices.