Forage production involves manipulation of the environment. Depending on the types of manipulations employed, forage production may promote sustainability or may promote environmental damage. Environmental damage that may result from forage production includes soil erosion, groundwater contamination, or a decline in biodiversity. Sustainable forage production systems utilize a combination of production practices designed to conserve natural resources (e.g. soil nutrients, water) for future generations. Achieving sustainable forage production requires less use of nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels and agrichemicals. It involves greater use of techniques such as Integrated Pest Management, crop rotation, careful regulation of animal populations (stocking rate) and conservation tillage. In summary, sustainable forage production involves viewing a forage production system as an ecosystem and not just as a factory for producing food.