Sustainable Farming: U of I shows how it can yield more food and combat climate change

The University of Illinois wants to be a pioneer in sustainable farming.

When done correctly, they say it can actually produce more food. 

The U of I is already leading the way in climate-smart agricultural practices. For example, their I-FARM is the only USDA-funded "Farm of the Future," where crops and livestock are cared for using sustainable practices involving robots. 

Right now, they are focused on growing crops that are resilient to climate change.  

The university is hosting a speaker from the Environmental Defense Fund on the issue, and she says while these farming techniques do cost more, the price of not implementing them would be even greater. 

"While there may be some upfront costs of helping farmers adopt new practices, over the long term it's going to reduce costs, it's going to reduce crop yield losses, which will help protect the cost of our food, and it's also going to help keep the value of the land healthy and strong," said Sr. Director of Climate-Smart Agriculture Environmental Defense Fund Maggie Monast.

One of the techniques they are looking into is making the soil spongier, so it can hold onto water during a drought and withstand extra water during a flood.