Monoculture Farming – Disadvantages in addition to Negative Effects On The Environment
- May 19, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
The term monoculture in agriculture refers to the growing of one particular crop over a large area. Monoculture is usually the norm in most large-scale commercial agriculture within the U.S. in addition to in many parts of the earth. Monoculture has certain short-term benefits, primarily in terms of economy of scale, in addition to automation of the production process (in addition to so reduction of labor costs). However, within the long-term, the disadvantages of monoculture are overwhelming – This kind of farming method has numerous negative effects on the environment, in addition to furthermore, these negative effects tend to become amplified over the long-run. This kind of article weighs the pros in addition to cons of This kind of sort of uniform approach to agriculture, in addition to points to some alternative practices which are more sustainable, both environmentally in addition to economically, in addition to so superior on all counts within the long-run.
Pros in addition to cons of monoculture farming: what are its advantages?
the item is usually immediately evident which I am not a fan of or advocate for monoculture. although there are some direct in addition to strongly compelling reasons which people engage in This kind of destructive practice. Before we talk about why This kind of practice is usually so harmful, I find the item fruitful to first examine its benefits or advantages.
The main advantage is usually economy of scale, primarily through automation. Especially within the U.S., labor costs are very high, so anything which can reduce the use of labor in agriculture is usually highly likely to result in cost savings. This kind of is usually often true even when the automation reduces yield per acre. For example, if a crop has been grown, the item can often be harvested in different ways, with different levels of automation. Greater automation in harvesting might result in greater waste, such as grain left within the fields, although if the item requires less labor (such as one person driving a large machine which covers the ground very quickly, as opposed to several people driving smaller, slower machines, or many people harvesting the crop by hand) the item may be superior in a cost-benefit analysis, even if the item results in greater waste.
Disadvantages of monoculture farming:
The most compelling disadvantage of monoculture farming is usually which the item is usually not adaptable. Wild ecosystems are diverse, in addition to wild populations of plants in addition to animals are also diverse. An ecosystem contains numerous different species, each with unique adaptations to its environment, in addition to distinct strengths in addition to weaknesses in response to changing conditions. Similarly, the natural population of a plant or animal species has genetic variability, in addition to each individual plant or animal has slightly different traits. Furthermore, each population, in addition to the ecosystem as a whole, is usually constantly changing, adapting to the changing environmental conditions in addition to the conditions imposed by the various other populations in addition to species within the system.
Monoculture smooths out This kind of variability, destroying the diversity in addition to replacing the item with, at best, one particular species, in addition to at worst (as is usually the norm within the U.S.), one particular cultivar – rows in addition to rows of genetically identical crops, essentially cloned, reproduced through cuttings or genetically engineered seed stock.
Susceptibility to pests:
The ecological landscape of monoculture is usually which there is usually a massive range of genetically identical plants, against a backdrop of wild pests, which include fungi, bacteria, insects, in addition to numerous various other organisms. These pests each have a wild population with its own biodiversity, in addition to their populations are constantly changing in addition to adapting to being able to eat the crops or benefit via the presence of whatever crops are being grown. The monoculture crops, however, are not.changing, in addition to are not able to adapt because they have no genetic variability in addition to are not allowed to reproduce naturally. Plant pests, weeds, also adapt, seeding into the fields of crops, taking advantage of the extra sunlight, as most monoculture crops let through ample light in addition to are not producing full use of the sun’s energy.
The only way to control pests in This kind of setup is usually to expend ever-greater energy in addition to resources on chemical control, either through the spraying of pesticides, fungicides, or bactericides on crops, or through the genetic engineering of crops to enable them to produce these chemicals themselves. although without the natural adaptation, pests will eventually evolve to resist any of these defenses. The setup of monoculture is usually inherently doomed, as the item is usually working against the natural ways in which ecosystems work. the item is usually completely unsustainable within the long-run.
Negative environmental impacts of monoculture:
Because monoculture farming requires ever-increasing levels of chemical inputs, the negative impacts on the environment are also continuously increasing. Although people often prefer to use safer chemicals when they exist, in addition to use them in as low a concentration as possible, any safe chemical will necessarily eventually stop working. Many of the chemicals used in commercial agriculture are known to be toxic in addition to/or carcinogenic, or have various other negative impacts on humans. although even chemicals which are safe for human consumption or exposure can have negative impacts on the environment; for example, roundup, a widely used herbicide, is usually much more toxic to amphibians than the item is usually to humans.
various other negative effects of monoculture:
Besides the negative environmental effects, monoculture also destroys our culture. Monoculture in addition to large-scale factory farming is usually in large part responsible for or associated with the alienation of Americans via the practice of farming, in addition to the move via an economy in which a large portion of people were directly involved in farming towards a society in which people see food as an industrial product to be purchased in a store, with little idea of where the item comes via.
Beyond monoculture: how you can help protect the environment in addition to food in addition to farming culture:
The empire of factory farming in addition to wide-scale monoculture is usually thankfully crumbling. You can do your part by learning more about gardening, by experimenting with growing some of your own food, even if you just have a smaller city yard, or even growing some indoors or on a porch or balcony if you do not have a yard. You can also explore farmer’s markets with locally grown food, in addition to encourage smaller-scale, local production, by diversified farming methods, by using your money to support these farmers. As we return to diversified agriculture, we will become more connected to our food, in addition to help protect our environment as well.