How does agriculture cause land pollution


Causes for Agricultural Pollution

  • Excessive use of pesticides and herbicides. The excessive use of pesticides and herbicides in order to optimize yields has become a big problem for the environment.
  • Use of large amounts of fertilizer. …
  • Contaminated water. …
  • Heavy metals. …
  • Soil erosion. …
  • Animal management. …
  • Manure management. …
  • Introduced species. …
  • Genetically modified organisms. …
  • Land management. …

More items…

Agricultural pollution occurs when contamination created as a by-product of raising livestock and growing food crops is released into the environment, and the contamination is vast.Aug 24, 2020


How does pollution affect agriculture?

While most scientific research on plastics pollution has been directed at aquatic ecosystems, especially oceans, FAO experts found that agricultural soils are thought to receive far greater quantities of microplastics.

What are the effects of agricultural pollution?

Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT , USA.

  1. Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT , USA. 1 author
  2. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA. 1 author
  3. Department of Botany, Government Degree College, Ramban, 182,144, India. …

More items…

Why is agricultural runoff bad?

Runoff from agricultural land (and even our own yards) can carry excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus into streams, lakes, and groundwater supplies. These excess nutrients have the potential to degrade water quality.

What are facts about pollution?

  • The temperatures here are extremely low in winters and normal temperatures are recorded in summer.
  • The taiga biome is extensively covered with numerous coniferous trees.
  • The growing season for plants is short in this region.
  • The soil layer is thin in this region compared to the tropics.

More items…


How does agriculture affect land pollution?

Nitrogen-based fertilizers produce potent greenhouse gases and can overload waterways with dangerous pollutants; chemical pesticides with varying toxicological effects can contaminate our air and water or reside directly on our food.

Does agriculture contribute to pollution?

Agriculture as a cause of air pollution Agriculture is also a source of air pollution. It is the dominant anthropogenic source of ammonia. Livestock account for about 40 percent of global emissions, mineral fertilizers for 16 percent and biomass burning and crop residues for about 18 percent.

What is the cause of agricultural pollution?

Agricultural pollution sources: There are three major sources that contribute agricultural pollution to rivers: (1) agricultural residues, (2) fertilizers and pesticides, (3) animal husbandry, and (4) excess salts from applied irrigation water.

How does agriculture affect the land?

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.

What are 3 effects of agriculture on the environment?

Agriculture contributes to a number larger of environmental issues that cause environmental degradation including: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, dead zones, genetic engineering, irrigation problems, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste.

What are three ways agriculture can pollute air?

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and industrial crop production can affect air quality on farms and in surrounding communities by releasing ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, pesticides and other airborne agriculture pollution.

What are the negative effects of agriculture?

Top 16 Negative Effects of Agriculture on the EnvironmentSoil/Land degradation.Deforestation.Biodiversity.Climate change.Pest problems.Industrial & agricultural waste.Irrigation.Livestock grazing.More items…•

What are examples of agricultural pollution?

Fertilizers and animal manure, which are both rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, are the primary sources of nutrient pollution from agricultural sources. Excess nutrients can impact water quality when it rains or when water and soil containing nitrogen and phosphorus wash into nearby waters or leach into ground waters.

How does agricultural activities destroy the environment?

Such farming practices, by and large, depleted and degraded soil, reduced biodiversity (e.g., disappearance of crop diversification) and produced water and air pollution, degrading the environment and posing a health threat to farmworkers and consumers.

How does agriculture cause climate change?

Agriculture contributes to climate change At every stage, food provisioning releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Farming in particular releases significant amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gases.

How farming causes global warming?

Industrial agriculture’s huge carbon footprint The U.S. food system contributes nearly 20 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions; on a global scale, figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say that agricultural land use contributes 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

What are some major threats to the use of agricultural land and sustainability?

In terms of what poses a threat to agricultural sustainability, the most prominent are the issues over arable land and useable water. Outdated cultivation methods and depletion of natural resources, and the general rise in environmental problems also contribute to the weakening of agricultural sustainability.

What percentage of pollution is caused by agriculture?

Agriculture (11% of 2020 greenhouse gas emissions) – Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture come from livestock such as cows, agricultural soils, and rice production.

How bad is agriculture for the environment?

Agriculture is the leading source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison fresh water, marine ecosystems, air and soil. They also can remain in the environment for generations.

How does agriculture contribute to water pollution?

The most prevalent source of agricultural water pollution is soil that is washed off fields. Rain water carries soil particles (sediment) and dumps them into nearby lakes or streams. Too much sediment can cloud the water, reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches aquatic plants.

How does agricultural activities destroy the environment?

Such farming practices, by and large, depleted and degraded soil, reduced biodiversity (e.g., disappearance of crop diversification) and produced water and air pollution, degrading the environment and posing a health threat to farmworkers and consumers.

How does agricultural pollution affect plants?

Agricultural pollution can become a problem for parts of the local plants since invasive species could impact the population of native species in an adverse way which in turn can change the dynamics of the whole ecosystem.

What is agricultural pollution?

Agricultural pollution can be defined as the degradation or contamination of the environment through abiotic and biotic byproducts of farming. For many years, our ancestors did farming in a sustainable way, thus there were almost no problems with agricultural pollution.

How does fertilizer affect aquatic life?

Effects on aquatic life. There is also an adverse effect on the aquatic system from agricultural pollution. Since the excessive use of fertilizer can contaminate rivers with an excessive supply of nitrates and phosphates, the production of algae can be enhanced.

Why should farmers try to improve nutrition management?

Farmers should try to improve nutrition management so that fertilizer and pesticides are not used in excessive amounts in order to mitigate the agricultural pollution problem. This means to determine in a scientific way how much pesticides and fertilizer are necessary to get a reasonable crop yield.

How does agriculture affect human health?

There are severe effects of agricultural pollution on human health. Through an excessive use of fertilizer and pesticides, harmful chemicals can reach our groundwater. Thus, in higher amounts and in contaminated regions, drinking tap water can lead to serious health conditions. Moreover, agricultural pollutions can also cause the contamination …

Why are pesticides bad for the environment?

Excessive use of pesticides and herbicides. The excessive use of pesticides and herbicides in order to optimize yields has become a big problem for the environment. Pesticides and herbicides contain many chemicals that can impact the ecological system in an adverse manner.

What are the causes of water pollution?

Water pollution. Water pollution is another big problem which is caused by agricultural pollution. Through the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, many harmful substances will reach our lakes, rivers and eventually also the groundwater.

What are the main sources of agricultural pollution?

Use of fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides and fertilizers are one of the major sources of agricultural pollution. The purpose of these fertilizers and pesticides is to kill the local pests that damage the crops. When these pesticides are sprayed on crops, some of its chemicals get absorbed by soil, water and by the plants itself.

What are some agricultural activities that contribute to air pollution?

Some agricultural activities considered as sources of air pollution such as the burning of fossil fuels in tractors, emission of gases through livestock & fertilizers, emission of greenhouse gases from machinery used for farming purposes, etc.

How does agriculture affect the aquatic ecosystem?

Agricultural pollution affects aquatic life. Agricultural wastes also affect the aquatic ecosystem. When fertilizers and pesticides mix with water it converts into nitrate which minimizes the level of oxygen present in water. A low level of oxygen causes the death of innocent water animals.

What are the causes of water pollution?

Agricultural pollution is one of the main causes of water pollution. When the chemicals from different manure, pesticides, fertilizers are dissolved in water bodies (especially in groundwater), it ended up drinking polluted water.

Why are leftover crops bad for animals?

Sometimes these crops may also affect our health when we consume them. An excessive amount of nutrients.

What are the effects of sediments on water bodies?

The sediments resulted due to soil erosion deposits on other areas near water bodies like rivers, streams, etc. which eventually affect the natural movement of these water bodies. The pesticides, fertilizers and industrial wastes sometimes contain some traces of heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, etc.

What causes the death of innocent water animals?

A low level of oxygen causes the death of innocent water animals. Read – Marine Pollution Causes effects and Solutions. As a result, numerous bacteria and parasites generate from animal wastes that can get entry into our body by drinking this contaminated water through various sources.

How does agriculture contribute to pollution?

Agricultural pollution may be triggered by certain farming activities that tend to damage, contaminate, and degrade the environment and ecosystem. A source of pollution in farming is the burning of waste materials from agricultural activities such as land clearance, applying excessive fertilizer more than the plants’ requirement, and use of certain pest control chemicals that are nonbiodegradable. The aftermath of these processes includes the introduction of certain chemical substances into the food web, generation of smoke and PM, and destabilization of habitats. Furthermore, nitrates from agricultural processes are known chemical pollutants in groundwater aquifers. Eutrophication that occurs due to excess nutrients in water bodies is commonly related to fertilizers that are applied at a higher dose than they are required for the plants’ uptake. Excess nitrogen and phosphates can leach into surface water or groundwater through runoffs.

What is the role of agriculture in the economy?

21.3.3 Agricultural activities. Agriculture serves as a source of economic development for any country and sustains the livelihoods of the populace. Despite these important roles of agriculture, pollution still emanates from agricultural activities resulting in a number of health and environmental risks.

How does agriculture contribute to pollution?

Agricultural pollution predominantly arises from farming practices. Modern farming and agricultural operations contribute to the degradation and contamination of our environment as well as the neighboring ecosystems. Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, animal manure and other agro-chemicals are rich in chemical nutrients …

What are the main sources of agricultural pollution?

Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, animal manure and other agro-chemicals are rich in chemical nutrients and toxic substances which are often the major sources of agricultural pollution. The excessive use of these products can affect water quality when it rains, and the contaminated soils and water is washed into the adjacent waters …

What are the consequences of eutrophication?

The most common consequence is eutrophication which depletes the water dissolved oxygen, and in consequence can kill fish and other aquatic life. Organic Contaminants. Manures and Biosolids frequently contain nutrients including nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen.

How does sedimentation affect aquatic life?

Sedimentation may also restrict light penetration in water thereby affecting aquatic life form s, and the consequential turbidity can hamper feeding habits of the aquatic fish. Sedimentation also contributes to build up of the agricultural pollutants in waterways and other land areas. Invasive Pests, Weeds, and Diseases.

What happens when it rains?

When it rains, water interacts with these toxic chemicals which then leach into groundwater sources or washed into the nearby waterways. Consequently, the chemicals contaminate waters and the soils, and soil microorganisms plus beneficial insects are killed.

What are the causes of crop failure?

Heavy metals can cause crop failure and poisons the livestock from contaminated water or food. Soil Erosion and Sedimentation. READ: 8 Various Types of Environmental Pollution. Intensive farming operations greatly contribute to soil erosion and sedimentation.

Do weeds cause agricultural pollution?

Invasive Pests, Weeds, and Diseases. Invasive pests, weeds, and diseases do not directly cause agricultural pollution. However, because of the persistent and growing number of pests, weeds, and diseases which can negatively impact crop yields, farmers resort to the persistent use of pesticides, herbicides, and other agro-chemicals …

What is agricultural air pollution?

Agricultural air pollution comes mainly in the form of ammonia (NH 3 ), which enters the air as a gas from heavily fertilized fields and livestock waste. It blows in over cities, reacts with emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulphur (SO 2 ) from traffic and industry, and leads to the formation of so-called secondary particles.

What is the main cause of air pollution?

Agriculture a major cause of air pollution. Food cultivation is the dominant source of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in ambient air in Europe, the central US and parts of China, according to a new study from the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Which country has the highest level of agriculture-related PM?

In the US, agricultural emissions represented around half of the human caused emissions. China shows the highest level of agriculture-related PM in absolute figures, and slightly less than half of the anthropogenic PM pollution.

Where are intensive agriculture, traffic and industry most common?

The combination of intensive agriculture, traffic and industry is unfortunately quite typical for some of the most populated parts of North America, Europe and Asia, which means that these particles are formed where they can cause a lot of damage.

How does animal agriculture affect soil?

Most food produced for animals is grown using a combination of untreated animal waste and synthetic fertilizers, both of which contain excessive amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals (such as zinc, copper, chromium, arsenic, cadmium, and lead). Farmers may overuse these inputs to increase crop yields, and the remainder that cannot be absorbed by the soil degrades the soil’s water retention ability and fertility.vii

Why are monocultures important?

Because of market forces, monocultures have allowed a small group of crops to take over the majority of the agricultural land across the globe. While this results in the production of large amounts of corn, soy and other livestock feed, this is an inefficient way to feed the world’s population and does not facilitate agro-ecological solutions. These impacts must be alleviated if the ecological systems of the earth are not to be irreversibly damaged.viii

What are the causes of land pollution?

Pesticides and fertilisers. Pesticides and fertilisers used on crops fed to animals are a major contributor to land pollution. Inevitably, a portion of fertilisers washes into waterways along with eroded sediments and this can lead to the creation of dead zones that kill aquatic life.

How do native forests affect agriculture?

Native forests with indigenous trees and plants are put under threat by clearcutting to create more agricultural land. Loss of these natural resources can also have negative consequences for medicinal research and effect the livelihoods of local populations that rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting, food and medicine.

What happens when you spray manure on a farm?

When factory farms spray liquid manure onto fields, the amount of waste applied often exceeds what the crops can take up, leaving the rest to escape into the air or runoff into surface waters. This improper collection and disposal of untreated animal waste can harm soil health local water supplies and human health.

How does factory farming affect investors?

The costs of factory farming – how land degradation and pollution impacts investors. Intensive farming causes damage to land and ecosystems which can negatively impact investors. Growing awareness is now developing around the side effects of pesticides and fertilisers used heavily on crops fed to farmed animals.

How to convert forests to agricultural land?

In order to convert forests to agricultural land, the clear-cutting process utilises herbicides such as glyphosate, spraying it on the land as part of the site preparation, in order to kill off underbrush. After all trees and other plant life have been removed, the site is again saturated with chemicals. Mammals living in the forest invariably ingest these chemicals, which are then passed along through the food chain as a result of bioaccumulation.

What happens after all trees and other plant life are removed?

After all trees and other plant life have been removed, the site is again saturated with chemicals. Mammals living in the forest invariably ingest these chemicals, which are then passed along through the food chain as a result of bioaccumulation.

How much of the world’s plants and animals live in forests?

The earth loses about 18.7 million acres of forests per year and the agricultural industry’s demand for more land is a key driver. About 80% of the world’s plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation.

What are the causes of soil pollution?

Some of main causes of soil pollution include deforestation and consequent erosion, agriculture, industry, mining, landfills and illegal dumping of waste as well as urbanization and construction [8].

What is land pollution?

Land pollution, whether it is a barren space where nothing can grow but a few weeds or a site that harbors garbage and debris, like old tires, gas cans and plastic bags is an aesthetic drain.

How do toxic chemicals get into the food chain?

The toxic chemicals absorbed via ingestion or skin absorption make their way up the food chain as they are stored in the tissue of the marine life and magnified as larger fish eat more of the tinier prey, so that the meal can be quite toxic by the time the fish makes it to our dinner plate.

How does underground mining affect land?

This waste often becomes toxic when exposed to air and water. Another effect on land pollution are coal fires.

Why is flooding worse?

This means that flooding is worsened as the land no longer has the ability to absorb excess rainfall [13]. It also allows for easy runoff of fertilizers and other applied chemicals. Farmers routinely apply highly toxic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and insecticides directly on to the crops and land.

What percentage of land animals live in forests?

Along with the topsoil go the nutrients necessary to regenerate growth. It is estimated that eighty percent of land animals and plants live in forests. Removal of even a portion of the canopy changes the environment of the forest as the canopy blocks the harmful sunlight and keeps in heat at night.

Why are forests and grasslands being converted to farmland?

The world population increase and increased demand for a food supply is causing forests and grasslands to be converted to farmland. Natural vegetation has deep roots that hold the soil in its place. Many of the replacement plants, like cotton, coffee, wheat and soybeans do not have deep roots and allow soil erosion.


Causes of Agricultural Pollution

  • 1. Pesticides and Fertilizers
    To begin with, the earliest source of pollutionhas been pesticides and fertilizers. Modern-day pesticides & fertilizers have to deal with the local pests that have existed for hundreds of years along with the new invasive species. And so, they are laden with chemicals that are not found in …
  • 2. Contaminated Water
    Contaminated water used for irrigation is one further source of pollution. Much of the water we use comes from groundwater reservoirs, canals and through the rains. While plenty of it is clean and pure water, other sources are polluted with organic compounds and heavy metals. This hap…

See more on

Effects of Agricultural Pollution

  • 1. Health-Related Issues
    Agricultural pollution is the main source of pollution in water and lakes. Chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides make their way into the groundwaterthat ends up in drinking water. Health-related problems may occur as it contributes to a blue baby syndrome which causes death in infants. Oi…
  • 2. Effect on Aquatic Animals
    Fertilizers, manure, waste, and ammonia turn into nitrate and phosphates, and when washed into nearby water bodies, the production of algae gets enhanced that reduces the amount of oxygen present in water, which results in the death of many aquatic animals. Again, bacteria and parasit…

See more on

Solutions to Agricultural Pollution

  • 1. Government Regulations
    Keeping agricultural pollution in check is much harder than it seems. For the farms to become clean once again, levels of water, soil, and industrial pollutionhave to be kept in check. Over the last decade or so, governments have become stricter about enforcing regulations.
  • 2. Awareness of farmers
    Farmers often unknowingly cause harm to the environmental system. They should be taught that the excessive use of fertilizer and pesticides has a huge adverse impact on the whole ecosystem. Thus, by increasing the farmers’ knowledge and awareness, agricultural pollution can be mitigat…

See more on

Leave a Comment