Environmental Impacts Of Agriculture: Environmental Effects On The Environment

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Agriculture covers thirty-eight percent of Earth’s land surface, but the land has continually been turned into cropland as the world’s population steadily increases (Brennan, Withgott pg. 225). Food is a necessity to human survival, however, agriculture, specifically industrial agriculture has caused multiple environmental impacts. Compared to the other land uses, agriculture causes the most harm to the planet due to the use of inorganic fertilizers, machinery, irrigation, pesticides, monocultures, and the problem of overgrazing. In order to fix these impacts, solutions must be made and applied. Luckily, there are solutions for many of these problems. Now, there are numerous reasons why those problems cause environmental impacts The biggest …show more content…
The only problem that doesn’t hold a solution is the clearing of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. Most of the solutions involve soil conservation using policies and other farming techniques. Crop rotation helps to restore nutrients in the soil and minimize erosion. Contour farming helps to slow runoff and capture soil, also some plant buffer strips of vegetation on the borders to lessen erosion and water pollution(Brennan, Withgott pg. 239). There’s a few other types of farming techniques that can be used as solutions, but no-till farming holds multiple benefits. No-till doesn’t plow after a harvest, but instead has a different technique and it reduces fossil fuel use, decreases soil erosion, strengthen conditions for wildlife, reduces air pollution, and other benefits(Brennan, Withgott pg 239). Now, industrial farming uses pesticides but these cause multiple environmental issues, so some farmers use other methods. The farmer may use biological control, which means they take the pest’s natural predator and introduce it to get rid of that pest. Another technique is integrated pest management, which combines different management practices to minimize the use of pesticides and their effects(AGP-Integrated Pest Management). To solve the problems caused by inorganic fertilizers a farmer may switch it for an organic fertilizer made up of manure, compost, and fresh vegetation(Brennan, Withgott pg. 242). Some of the issues with agriculture are caused by irrigation, however, a new technique called drip irrigation is used by having pipes that reach plants roots and release drips of water onto the crops. This decreases the amount of water wasted because it directly applies the water to the crops and is easily controlled. Another problem is salinization, but the saline soils can be recovered by leaching the salt out of the soil through drainage, and then by

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