A Brief Note On Agriculture And The Agricultural Industry Essay

1549 Words Oct 17th, 2015 7 Pages
Although the creation of the tractor and groundwater irrigation has certainly been a boon to the agricultural industry, these technologies have left their mark on the environment. Tractors, while increasing the rate of tillage, has led to negative impacts on the soil. Tillage, itself, changes the physical properties of the soil. Conventional tillage leads to an accelerated decay of organic matter in the soil. The practice of conventional tilling aerates the soil which prompts microbes in the soil and breakdown organic matter; as an added side-effect, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere due to the breakdown of this organic matter. As of 2004, the agricultural sector is responsible for nearly 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The breakdown of soil organic matter is also one of the leading causes of erosion due to over-tilling. Erosion causes the top layer of soil to become displaced which leads to soil infertility and degradation. The leading crops which are responsible for erosion are also the most profitable: wheat, rice, corn, and cotton. While traditionally, erosion only effects the top soil layer, it can cause immense damage to layers beyond that. According to Soil Management Engineer Jim Ritter, “In extreme cases, tillage erosion includes the movement of subsurface soil. Subsoil that has been moved from upper-slope positions to lower-slope positions can bury the productive topsoil in the lower-slope areas, further impacting crop development and…

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