How can the environmental impacts of agriculture be mimimized


Understanding environmental consequences of agricultural production is critical to minimize unintended environmental conse- quences. The preservation and enhancement of our natural resources can be achieved by measuring the success of improved management practices and by adjusting conservation policies as needed to ensure long-term protection.

Soil conservation methods, such as contour planting or no-till farming, reduce levels of soil erosion, as these methods help to keep the soil in place during heavy rains or floods, which is an increasing concern due to climate change.Sep 17, 2020


What is the environmental impact of Agriculture?

This environmental impact of agriculture is the effect of various farming practices, and it can vary greatly depending on the country we are looking at. Many critical environmental issues are tied to agriculture, such as climate change, dead zones, genetic engineering, pollutants, deforestation, soil degradation, waste, and many others.

How does the mechanisation of agriculture affect the environment?

The mechanisation of agriculture require various energy resources such as diesel, electricity, petrol etc. Moreover, higher use of fertilizers as well, has negative impact on the ecology of the country by air pollution.

Why is it important to modify agricultural practices to minimize environmental impacts?

As the world enters an era in which global food production is likely to double, it is critical that agricultural practices be modified to minimize environmental impacts even though many such practices are likely to increase the costs of production. faostat (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 1997).

How does agribusiness affect the environment?

Agriculture refers to the practice of rearing domestic animals and crops with the goal of food production. Although agriculture is essential in sustaining human life, the practices associated with it have been known to have certain impacts on the environment. The most notable of these effects includes climate change, deforestation, pollution,…


How can we reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture?

These techniques will also build resilience on our farms and in our food supply as we face the challenges ahead.Efficient Irrigation Management. … Renewable Energy. … Organic Practices. … Increasing Soil Health. … Keeping Agriculture Green. … Reducing Livestock Methane Emissions. … Pasture-Based Livestock Management. … Protecting Farmland.More items…•

How can you minimize the environmental problems?

Friday, 19 April 2019Stop using plastic bags. When you think about it, we don’t need plastic bags in our lives at all. … Skip the disposable items. … Know what to recycle. … Go paperless. … Reduce electronic usage. … Veggie garden and compost. … Read ebooks. … Drive less.More items…•

Is a way to Minimise impact?

Completely turn off equipment like televisions and stereos when you’re not using them. Choose energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. Save water: some simple steps can go a long way in saving water like, like turning off the tap when you are brushing your teeth or shaving.

How can we prevent and solve natural resources and environmental problems?

10 Solutions for Natural Resource DepletionMake Electricity Use More Efficient. … Use More Renewable Energy. … Promote Sustainable Fishing Rules. … Avoid Single-Use Plastics. … Drive Less. … Recycle More and Improve Recycling Systems. … Use Sustainable Agriculture Practices. … Reduce Food Waste.More items…•

How does agriculture affect the environment?

If this loading increases, as required to cover the increasing food demand, agriculture will adversely transform most of the remaining natural ecosystems of the world. Because the global environmental impact of agriculture on natural ecosystems may be as serious a problem as global climate change, the impacts of agriculture and the development of means to reduce these impacts merit considerably more study [1].

How can dairy farmers reduce their environmental impact?

The need to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, including dairy production, requires changes in the management strategy and methods of production of dairy systems. Dairy farms need to be managed as ‘whole’ systems with the environmental impact of the system, sustainability and efficiency of production per unit of dairy product, and animal welfare standards, all being important factors. In the future, systems will need to be more sustainable and less reliant on the importation of purchased concentrate feeds. Many plant species can be grown on the farm to produce either forage or combinable grain crops with the potential to improve the energy or protein content of the diet. However, many of these species have not been evaluated fully or subjected to breeding programmes to improve their key traits and more research is required to exploit fully the potential of these plants. Globalisation and the removal of trade barriers indicate that the milk price paid to dairy farmers will continue to be low irrespective of whether the milk is destined for the liquid or processing markets. This trend suggests that dairy farmers may have to consider new strategies to ensure their businesses remain viable in the future. One option is to minimise costs by establishing larger dairy units where milk volume and low production costs are the key factors with the milk sold and marketed away from the farm. An alternative option that is increasingly being undertaken is to both produce and process the milk within the same business, with the marketing of the dairy products aimed at niche markets that will often be within the same geographical location as the dairy farm. Niche markets require high-quality products and further research is required to improve the shelf life of dairy products, enhance flavour and establish a closer link between the producer and consumer. This improves the understanding of the ‘whole system’ and boosts confidence in the benefits dairy products can provide in the human diet.

What is sustainable intensification?

Sustainable intensification has been defined as “simultaneously raising productivity, increasing resource use efficiency , and reducing negative environmental impacts of agriculture” ( Bolton and Crute, 2011 ). For example, De Klein et al. (2012) identified, through modeling of a database of farm system information, that by incorporating targeted mitigation strategies into pastoral dairy production systems increases in milk production without a concomitant increase in nitrogen leaching and greenhouse gas emissions is theoretically possible and needs to be tested in the field. Currently, there are few catchmentscale examples that demonstrate increased production and economic wealth while simultaneously maintaining highquality surface waters in intensive agricultural settings, highlighting that sustainable intensification remains a continuing challenge.

How did industrialization affect food production?

Industrialization allowed more land to be farmed in less time and increased the amount of food that could be produced per acre , making US farmers the most productive in the world.

What were the major environmental disasters that affected farmers?

Dust Bowl 1933–35. World War II 1941–45. Industrialization increased, farmers left farms for military service or work in defense. Farm crisis 1980s. Financial foreclosures of farms and banks, continued migration of farmers to cities.

What do North Carolina farmers produce?

North Carolina farmers produce about half of the tobacco produced in the United States and contribute to animal food production. Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics, 2007 Census of Agriculture, US Census Bureau 2012, Settlement in Iowa by European Americans began in the early 1800s.

What was the 1980s farm crisis?

Farm crisis 1980s. Financial foreclosures of farms and banks, continued migration of farmers to cities. Within the roughly 500 years since the colonization of the United States, agriculture has evolved and changed dramatically.

How does farming affect the ecosystem?

There are three main ways that farming affects ecosystems: irrigation, animal grazing, and fertilizers. Freshwater is stored in lakes, rivers, and underground. People use it for washing, drinking, and growing food.

Why is farming so challenging?

It causes all kinds of changes in long-term weather patterns. These changes, like rainfall and drought, may make farming more challenging. Modern farming is also responsible for its own problems. Farmers often grow food in ways that are not sustainable.

How do fertilizers affect the environment?

Fertilizers have allowed farmers to grow much more food. They have also increased nitrogen and phosphorus in the environment. About half the nitrogen in fertilizers escapes from crop fields. It finds its way into soil, air, and water. Large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus harm ecosystems.

How has agriculture helped the world?

Farming, or agriculture, has allowed the world’s population to grow. In the last 100 years, the world’s population has quadrupled. More people means that we need more space to grow food. In 2016, farmers used millions of square kilometers. They used it to grow grains like wheat and rice.

What percentage of freshwater is used for irrigation?

Farming accounts for 70 percent of the freshwater that we use. A lot of freshwater is used for irrigation. This is the process of watering crops through pipes, canals, or sprinklers. It is needed to grow large amounts of food. Irrigation has consequences for the environment.

Why are farmers having to fundamentally change the way agriculture is practised?

Farmers are having to fundamentally change the way agriculture is practised as the environment continues to change. Noticeably altered weather patterns, shorter growing seasons, extreme weather conditions, and many other shifts are causing daunting problems for farmers around the world. The good news is that farmers can adapt to these changes …

How much deforestation is caused by agriculture?

It has been shown that 80% of deforestation is caused by agricultural expansion. The conversion from forest to cropland produces a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. So, farmers should aim to lessen the need to expand their farms.

How can we reduce soil erosion?

Soil conservation methods, such as contour planting or no-till farming, reduce levels of soil erosion, as these methods help to keep the soil in place during heavy rains or floods, which is an increasing concern due to climate change.

How can farmers reduce their energy use?

Farmers can lower this by making a few simple changes to how and where their energy is used. For example, adding and/or improving insulation and heating systems to both homes and farm buildings by investing in a bunded oil tank. Bunded oil tanks are an ideal option if you are looking to store large quantities of oil without causing any harm to …

Why is soil important in farming?

In climate-smart farming, the soil is treated almost as if it were a crop. Fertile soil is highly beneficial as it imparts better flavour and a higher nutritional value to food. Healthy soil also holds higher amounts of moisture, which helps to keep plant roots hydrated during dry periods.

Why is it important to have a sound management plan for farming?

Farms need to have a sound management plan to increase their output, combat food insecurity, run effectively, lower operation costs, and reduce their climate impact.

What do farmers spend their money on?

Farms, like all businesses, can require large amounts of energy to perform effectively. Farmers can spend a significant amount of money on energy for lighting, space and/or water heating, and other processing areas.

Why is it so hard to meet the demand for accelerated agricultural productivity?

The reasons for this have to do with ecological factors. Global climate change is destabilizing many of the natural processes that make modern agriculture possible.

What are the consequences of irrigation?

One of the most obvious consequences is the depletion of aquifers, river systems, and downstream ground water. However, there are a number of other negative effects related to irrigation.

What is the effect of nitrogen on soil?

In addition, fertilizer application in soil leads to the formation and release of nitrous oxide, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases.

How does irrigation affect water?

Irrigation causes increases in water evaporation, impacting both surface air temperature and pressure as well as atmospheric moisture conditions . Recent studies have confirmed that cropland irrigation can influence rainfall patterns not only over the irrigated area but even thousands of miles away.

What is irrigation related to?

Irrigation has also been connected to the erosion of coastlines and other kinds of long-term ecological and habitat destruction. A huge amount of agricultural territory is used primarily as pasture for cattle and other livestock.

What causes algae blooms in China?

Nutrient pollution is a causal factor in toxic algae blooms affecting lakes in China, the United States, and elsewhere. As excessive amounts of organic matter decompose in aquatic environments, they can bring about oxygen depletion and create “dead zones” within bodies of water, where nothing can survive.

How do cattle damage soil?

Cattle and other large grazing animals can even damage soil by trampling on it. Bare, compacted land can bring about soil erosion and destruction of topsoil quality due to the runoff of nutrients. These and other impacts can destabilize a variety of fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats. Chemical Fertilizer.

Participatory Modelling for Resilient Futures

Richard J. Hewitt, … María A. Encinas-Escribano, in Developments in Environmental Modelling, 2017

Land Use: Catchment Management

A.R. Melland, … G. Shortle, in Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 2014

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Agroecosystems

K. Garbach, … F.A.J. DeClerck, in Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 2014

Pollination contribution to crop yield is often context-dependent: A review of experimental evidence

Giovanni Tamburini, … Lorenzo Marini, in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2019

Environmental impact assessment for a farming region: a review of methods

Sylvain Payraudeau, Hayo M.G. van der Werf, in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2005

The challenges posed by global broadacre crops in delivering smart agri-robotic solutions: A fundamental rethink is required

Bruce Donaldson Grieve, … Simon Pearson, in Global Food Security, 2019

Is the plot concept an obstacle in agricultural sciences? A review focussing on fruit production

Thomas Nesme, … Robert Habib, in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2010

How does mechanisation affect agriculture?

The mechanisation of agriculture require various energy resources such as diesel, electricity, petrol etc. Moreover, higher use of fertilizers as well, has negative impact on the ecology of the country by air pollution.

What are the impacts of deforestation?

The impacts are:- 1. Degradation of Land 2. Deforestation 3. Biodiversity 4. Pest Problem 5. Disposal of Industrial & Agricultural Wastes. Impact # 1. Degradation of Land: The degradation of land in one form or the other is matter of serious concern endangering sustainability of agriculture.

What are the causes of toxicity in plants and animals?

Affluent water, smoke and un-degradable solid waste from industries and domestic uses have also been responsible for toxicity in plant and animal particularly fish and unbalanced soil nutrients which needs to be checked through treatment plants. Impact, Agriculture, Environment, Impact of Agriculture.

What are the main reasons for decline in forest wealth?

The main reasons for decline in forest wealth are: 1. Increase in population resulting in more demand for fuel wood and timber. 3. Indiscriminate siting of development projects.

Why has the forest area in the recent past not changed much?

5. The forest area in the recent past has not changed much because its diversion for non-forestry purposes has been more or less compensated by afforestation. “The annual withdrawal of fuel wood is estimated at 235 million cubic meters against a sustainable capacity of about 48 million cubic meters.

What is the pest problem?

Pest Problem: With the shift in crop pattern, increase in area under irrigation and higher cropping intensity, the pest problem has become very severe. The seriousness of pests has further increased by way of indiscriminate and increased use of pesticides.

Why is agriculture important to the EU?

It also permits more efficient carbon storage in the soil. Agriculture accounts for 70% of all water use. Given that many scientists predict worsening drought and hotter temperatures around the globe, agriculture will need to adapt to climate change if the EU is to meet its ambitious energy and climate agenda.

What are the advantages of GM crops?

Advocates of biotechnology list many advantages of GM crops in addition to increased yields. They point to innovative second-generation products which are either already grown in countries outside Europe or still in development – such as ‘Golden Rice’, a variety designed to contain extra beta-carotene and so alleviate vitamin-A deficiency.

How does biotechnology help farmers?

Biotechnology can play a major role in helping farmers overcome challenges such as protecting crops against insects, weeds and disease, as well as battling vagaries of the weather. Much can be achieved without resorting to environmentally-harmful products and processes or over-reliance on irrigation, contributing to more sustainable farming …

What is the only crop grown in the EU?

At present, only one such crop for food use is authorised for commercial cultivation in the EU. That crop is MON 810 maize, developed and marketed by US company Monsanto; the only country where it is grown to any significant extent is Spain.

Is biotechnology a part of EU agriculture?

Biotechnology looks set to continue to have a place in EU farm policy, particularly as an innovation-based science within the EU 2020 smart growth strategy. With the Commission’s November 2010 Communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it is clear that a key priority after 2013 will be greater integration of environmental concerns, particularly the use of sustainable farming to help mitigate climate change and a mandatory ‘greening’ component within direct farm payments.

Do GM foods affect human health?

The World Health Organization, for example, says GM foods currently available have passed assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of consumption of such foods in countries where they have been approved.

Does biotechnology reduce pesticides?

While there are longstanding disagreements over the merits of biotechnology for reducing pesticide use, there is some evidence that , in Europe at least, farmers have managed to cut down on pest control costs when growing biotech crops. At present, only one such crop for food use is authorised for commercial cultivation in the EU. That crop is MON 810 maize, developed and marketed by US company Monsanto; the only country where it is grown to any significant extent is Spain.


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