Agricultural Information Bulletin No. (AIB-752) 42 pp

July 1999

Green Technologies for a More Sustainable Agriculture

For U.S. agriculture to continue along a sustainable path of economic development, further production increases must be generated by technologies that are both profitable and more environmentally benign. In this context, we assess the role of these green or sustainable technologies in steering agriculture along a more sustainable path. However, the lack of markets for the environmental attributes associated with green technologies can limit their development. In addition, simply making a technology available does not mean it will be adopted. Experience with green technologies such as conservation tillage, integrated pest management, enhanced nutrient management, and precision agriculture demonstrates that even when technologies are profitable, barriers to adopting new practices can limit their effectiveness.

Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, natural capital, nonrenewable resources, renewable resources, environmental services, green technology, integrated pest management, conservation tillage, enhanced nutrient management, precision agriculture

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