does modern industrial agriculture have a sustainable future



It should come as no surprise to you that modern means of agriculture are not sustainable for the world if we expect to support a growing population of healthy people. Now, this post is not a slant to the hard working men and women who have toiled the earth for our collective benefit.

An industrial agriculture is not ecologically sustainable. Industrial agriculture also is a significant contributor to the depletion of social energy.


Is industrial agriculture more efficient than sustainable agriculture?

 · I have really enjoyed reading through this blog. Yes, agriculture does have a sustainable future. However it is only through initiatives like this that we can succeed. It is quite interesting to see the outcomes of the round-table. However we need to now move past theories and start taking action.

Is modern agriculture sustainable for the world?

 · Industrialized agriculture is highly concentrated and mechanized, relying on chemical inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and non-therapeutic antibiotics. However, sustainable agriculture, which uses methods that protect the environment, public health, human communities and animal welfare, is gaining traction.

Is industrial farming a model for the future?

 · audrey123488. Answer: Advances in modern agriculture allow today’s farmers to grow in ways that are measurably more sustainable. These practices help farmers retain topsoil and reduce erosion, conserve water in multiple ways, reduce emissions, protect pollinators, and protect natural resources by using farmland mo.

Is industrial agriculture strictly looking at profitability?

2) Environment: Once again, the sustainable farmer is aware of his/her environment by caring for their farm in a way that measures good accountability in minimizing chemical use and …


Is industrial agriculture sustainable?

Industrialized agriculture is highly concentrated and mechanized, relying on chemical inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and non-therapeutic antibiotics. However, sustainable agriculture, which uses methods that protect the environment, public health, human communities and animal welfare, is gaining traction.

Can modern agriculture be sustainable?

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world.

Why is modern industrial agriculture not sustainable?

“Ultimately the practice of modern farming is not sustainable” because “the damage to the soil and natural ecosystems is so great that farming becomes dependent not on the land but on the artificial inputs into the process, such as fertilizers and pesticides.

What is the future of sustainable agriculture?

Trends Shaping the Future of Sustainable Agriculture Farm technologies help make crops more productive by providing more accurate and timely field and weather data, decreasing the need for fertilizers and pesticides, increasing efficiency, and reducing fuel use.

What are some of the benefits of industrial agriculture?

The Pros and Cons of Industrial AgricultureIt increases food production. … It lowers consumer costs. … It encourages technological development and innovation. … It creates employment opportunities. … It lengthens food availability.

Can agriculture sustainable?

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Agriculture contributes directly to sustainable stewardship of the land, air and water.

Is industrial agriculture unsustainable?

The use of genetically engineered (GE) crops or GMOs in industrial agriculture further promotes this unsustainable system of monocropping and overuse of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Why is industrial agriculture bad?

Industrial farming is bad for the health of workers, eaters, and downstream neighbors. Here are some of its costly health impacts: Pesticide toxicity. Herbicides and insecticides commonly used in agriculture have been associated with both acute poisoning and long-term chronic illness.

How does industrial agriculture affect the environment?

Industrial agriculture harms the environment through pollution of air, soil and water. Air emissions from livestock operations make up 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Conventional crop production degrades soil health and causes soil erosion.

Why is sustainable agriculture important for the future?

In addition to preserving the earth’s natural resources, sustainable agriculture benefits the environment through helping maintain soil quality, reducing erosion, and preserving water.

How will agricultural production be different in a sustainable future?

By adopting conservation practices, farmers can build rich, fertile soils that will grow robust crops while protecting water sources, storing carbon, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating fields that are more resilient to extreme weather events. It’s a win-win for farmers and nature.

Why is the future of agriculture important?

Future agriculture will use sophisticated technologies such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology. These advanced devices and precision agriculture and robotic systems will allow farms to be more profitable, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly.


How is industrialized agriculture supported?

Industrialized agriculture is supported by taxpayer subsidies overtly by way of artificially low grain prices and tax breaks. Animal feed, a key element of industrialized agriculture, is made from corn and soybeans that are cheap for feed companies to purchase owing to government subsidies.

Why did agriculture become industrialized?

The industrialization of agriculture began after World War II, as a way of addressing global hunger and making the food supply more efficient and safe. The global shift towards this model of farming in the last sixty years has come with many costs.

What is agricultural dumping?

Agricultural “dumping” – forcing poor countries to buy cheaply produced US grains at less than the cost of production – has destroyed farm economies around the world, including Latin America, leading to increased immigration as former farmers come to the US in search of work. 78.

How did farming change?

As farms and fields were consolidating and expanding, farming methods changed too, moving towards specialization, mechanization and ever-increasing reliance on fossil fuels. Tractors and other equipment got bigger; chemical fertilizers revolutionized crop yields; improved irrigation forced dry areas into production; animals were moved into controlled confinement; and seed genes began to be spliced.

How can we support sustainable agriculture?

At the county, state, federal and institutional level, you can support increased investment in sustainable agriculture research, as well as education for beginning and transitioning farmers. Throughout farm country, there are corn and soybean farmers who would prefer to be growing food more directly for people, but do who not have the knowledge, market, equipment or wherewithal to make a change. Education and incentive programs for these farmers can help.

How can agriculture help farmers?

A different kind of federal agriculture policy could help farmers and taxpayers, and curb many of the worst impacts of industrialization. A policy based on supply management, which creates a grain reserve (a common sense protection against low yield years) and a floor price for farmers, would not incentivize fencerow-to-fencerow planting, making it easier for farmers to take marginal lands (land not worth farming because it would not make enough money) out of production. A 2011 analysis by Dr. Darryl Ray at the University of Tennessee showed that if a farmer-owned reserve had been in place between 1996 and 2010, rather than the patchwork subsidy system, taxpayers would have saved more than $96 billion. The Food from Family Farms Act by the National Family Farm Coalition, is one example of a farm bill proposal to reinstate reserves and fair prices, along with ecologically sustainable planting and a more secure disaster program.

How does sustainable agriculture contribute to the ecosystem?

Sustainable agriculture produce s its own inputs (fertilizer from animals, feed grown on the land) and manages its outputs (crop waste, manure) in a closed loop cycle. It contributes to soil fertility, clean water systems, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, rather than depleting them .

What are the benefits of sustainable farming?

What does this mean for our health? It is all good as this sustainable methodology enables people to better health outcomes and the prevention of many chronic diseases that are largely preventable.

Is “sustainable” a word?

The word “sustainable” is so frequently used today and with very good reason. It is only fitting to clarify the differences of what makes agriculture sustainable and what makes it industrial though — just to make sure we are all on the same page. Why should you care? Here are some of the many reasons why you should…

What is the goal of sustainable agriculture?

The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Practitioners of sustainable agriculture seek to integrate three main objectives into their work: a healthy environment, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

How has agriculture changed?

Agriculture has changed dramatically, especially since the end of World War II. Food and fiber productivity soared due to new technologies, mechanization, increased chemical use, specialization and government policies that favored maximizing production. These changes allowed fewer farmers with reduced labor demands to produce the majority of the food and fiber in the U.S.

What are the factors that determine sustainable production?

Specific strategies must take into account topography, soil characteristics, climate, pests, local availability of inputs and the individual grower’s goals.

How does agriculture affect air quality?

These include smoke from agricultural burning; dust from tillage, traffic and harvest; pesticide drift from spraying; and nitrous oxide emissions from the use of nitrogen fertilizer. Options to improve air quality include:

How does agriculture affect water resources?

Another way in which agriculture affects water resources is through the destruction of riparian habitats within watersheds. The conversion of wild habitat to agricultural land reduces fish and wildlife through erosion and sedimentation, the effects of pesticides, removal of riparian plants, and the diversion of water.

What happens to the natural resources of ancient Mesopotamia?

When the production of food and fiber degrades the natural resource base, the ability of future generations to produce and flourish decreases. The decline of ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean region, Pre-Columbian southwest U.S. and Central America is believed to have been strongly influenced by natural resource degradation from non-sustainable farming and forestry practices.

What are the three areas of concern for sustainable agriculture?

The strategies are grouped according to three separate though related areas of concern: Farming and Natural Resources, Plant and Animal Production Practices, and the Economic, Social and Political Context. They represent a range of potential ideas for individuals committed to interpreting the vision of sustainable agriculture within their own circumstances.

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture serves as a much-needed alternative to the industrial farming practices that have been employed in the United States for decades. These methods, which include repeatedly planting the same crop on one plot of land and encouraging growth through the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, …

Why is agriculture important?

Sustainable agricultural methods provide the means by which humans can meet our needs without harming the environment. This is important not only for us and our continued enjoyment of nature and natural resources but also for the animals with which we share our space.

What is the Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill also provides for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program which provide financial and technical assistance to farms that use sustainable methods that encourage improved water, air, and soil quality. The total budget for these programs is less than $5 billion.

What is the primary source of policy related to farming?

Periodically, Congress passes the Farm Bill, which is the primary source of policy related to farming. Though the Farm Bill provides a mix of support for industrial and sustainable farmers, more funding is provided to support industrial methods through subsidies of certain products, notably wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, dairy, and cotton. These subsidies amount to $20 billion a year and lead to a lack of diversity in planting as well as the use of vast plots of land for the sole purpose of growing these crops.

What is a whole farm system?

Taking a whole-farm system approach to agriculture balances natural resources, agricultural pursuits, profit, and public responsibility. Whole-farm methods support the quality of soil and water as well as local wildlife.

Why are antibiotics not used in agriculture?

Antibiotic Resistance: Because antibiotics are not used for preventive medicine in sustainable agriculture, implementing sustainable methods of production increases the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating people. Pandemics: Industrial agriculture, in which animals are kept in tight quarters, is a driver of disease.

Why are sustainable methods of production more likely to support and rely on the local economy?

Localization: Sustainable methods of production are more likely to support and rely on the local economy. Farms are no longer purchasing products, such as fertilizers and pesticides, from outside their communities, and instead are relying more heavily on local resources such as labor.

How does industrial farming affect agriculture?

Industrial farming practices also threaten the long-term viability of agriculture. Nutrients aren’t the only thing that run off from fields that lack grassy buffers or cover crops. Soil also washes into waterways. In the U.S., topsoil has been eroding from farms faster than it can be replaced, which threatens future crop yields.

What are the problems of industrial agriculture?

is dominated by large, specialized crop and animal farms. These industrial farms focus on short-term productivity, often at the cost of creating environmental and public health problems.

Why do farmers feed their animals antibiotics?

Because so many animals are kept in a limited area, often in unsanitary conditions that allow disease to spread quickly, operators of these farms may feed daily doses of antibiotics to their animals . This routine use of antibiotics on animals results in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect humans …

What happens when you grow the same crop year after year?

For example, by growing the same one or two crops year after year – most often corn and soybeans – industrial farms deplete nutrients in the soil. In response, they apply manure or synthetic fertilizer but too often this washes into waterways, where it feeds algal blooms that create dead zones or pollute drinking water.

Can farmers raise chickens without antibiotics?

Farmers can raise animals without the routine use of antibiotics – in the near future, nearly half the chicken in this country will be raised without the routine use of medically important antibiotics – but federal policy gives them little incentive to do so.

How does animal agriculture affect the environment?

In animal agriculture, the focus on short-term production also creates environmental and public health threats. For instance, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) operate by raising animals in confinement and feeding them grains. Because so many animals are kept in a limited area, often in unsanitary conditions that allow disease to spread quickly, operators of these farms may feed daily doses of antibiotics to their animals. This routine use of antibiotics on animals results in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect humans and are very difficult to treat. Farmers can raise animals without the routine use of antibiotics – in the near future, nearly half the chicken in this country will be raised without the routine use of medically important antibiotics – but federal policy gives them little incentive to do so.

Does federal crop insurance help with water pollution?

Federally subsidized crop insurance, for instance, encourages specialization in corn and soy, despite its implications for water quality. A better approach would be to limit subsidized crop insurance to farms that implement measures to limit water pollution.

How does sustainable agriculture impact the future?

It is also vital for consumers whose everyday lives are improved by agricultural innovations supporting the production of a safe, abundant, and affordable food supply and protecting and enhance our natural resources–now and for the future.

What are the opportunities for agriculture?

The diversity of agricultural production systems across the United States presents wide-ranging opportunities for exciting new research and innovation. New scientific findings and new technology, for example robotic automation, artificial intelligence, vertical farming and gene editing, could all play a role in not only improving existing systems but in developing new systems and new products altogether. New and emerging agricultural products can generate exciting new niches for farmers who want to meet consumer demands for crops and livestock with improved nutritional or environmental benefits.

1. Excessive Water Waste

If you need to ask why modern agriculture is literally killing us, then take a moment to consider most of the water used in traditional farming regimes is wasted.

2. Economic Strain

Modern farming still relies heavily on the use of large plots of land to raise crops. This land can server no other purpose other than to yolk the burdens of a hungry society. In an ironic contrast to common sense, however, much of the land in the bread basket of the world is not even utilized.

3. Unintended Consequences from Pesticide Use

If these two problems weren’t enough, we still haven’t talked about pesticides yet. Because most of the world’s crops are grown outdoors, pests are a major consideration that must be contended with. However, there are many unintended consequences of using industrial pesticides that aren’t considered by many people.

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