what is conventional agriculture

Contents

image

Conventional farming, also known as traditional farming or industrial agriculture, refers to farming systems which include the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides

Herbicide

Herbicides, also commonly known as weedkillers, are substances used to control unwanted plants. Selective herbicides control specific weed species, while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed, while non-selective herbicides can be used to clear waste ground, industrial and construction sites, r…

and other continual inputs, genetically modified organisms, concentrated animal feeding operation]s, heavy irrigation, intensive tillage, or concentrated monoculture production.

Conventional Farming Defined

Conventional farming is the use of seeds that have been genetically altered using a variety of traditional breeding methods, excluding biotechnology, and are not certified as organic.

Full
Answer

What are the pros and cons of conventional farming?

 · Conventional agriculture systems are described as being ‘based on intensive use of agrochemicals to maximize agricultural productions [sic]’, and encompassing ‘intensive tillage to manipulate the soil physical properties and to control weeds, mono-cropping, and limited recycling of materials’.

What are the benefits of conventional farming?

the term conventional agriculture in a way that is both value-driven and highly normative. Here conventional agriculture is portrayed as homo- geneous, strongly conservative, static and…

How does conventional farming affect the environment?

 · We argue that the category conventional agriculture has little analytical purchase, and that its use is part of a strategy of homogenising, normalising and othering. In effect, the term conventional agriculture has been weaponised. This helps explain the sterile and unproductive nature of much debate about future agricultures.

Can conventional agriculture feed the world?

 · Conventional farming is a term used to designate farming techniques that are traditionally, and often controversially, oriented towards using technology, pesticides, chemicals and other synthetic tools in the cultivation of crops. Thus “conventional” is often used as an antonym for “organic,” a farming approach that alternatively seeks to limit or eradicate the …

image

What is conventional in farming?

Introduction. “Conventional farming” is generally associated with high-input modern agriculture which includes the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides. However, this term, which is commonly used in the scientific and agricultural literature, is devoid of technical content.

What is the difference between organic agriculture and conventional agriculture?

Conventional agriculture causes increased greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, water pollution, and threatens human health. Organic farming has a smaller carbon footprint, conserves and builds soil health, replenishes natural ecosystems for cleaner water and air, all without toxic pesticide residues.

Why is conventional agriculture better?

According to farmers who practice conventional farming, one of its benefits is the cheaper costs of using this method. Unlike organic farmers who use compost and animal manure which are expensive to ship, conventional farmers can use synthetic chemical fertilizers and sewage sludge that are cheaper.

What is regenerative agriculture and how is it different then conventional farming?

In today’s conventional farming approach, crops and livestock production are typically kept separate. Regenerative agriculture combines them in circular ecosystems; essentially, the animals feed the plants, and the plants feed the animals.

Why conventional farming is bad?

Conventional farming has been heavily criticized for causing biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and increased water pollution due to the rampant usage of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Is conventional farming more efficient?

4. Organic farming is more efficient than conventional farming. Conventional agriculture requires large amounts of oil to produce, transport and apply fertilizers and pesticides. Nitrogen fertilizer is the single biggest energy cost for conventional farming, representing 41% of overall energy costs.

What is the difference between organic and conventional fertilizers?

Conventional fertilizers provide nutrients in a concentrated form that plants can readily use. Organic nutrient sources include legumes, animal manure, compost and crop residues. Organic nutrients are slowly released as materials decompose.

What are the similarities and differences between organic and conventional farming?

Conventional and organic farmers can both use pesticides to control harmful insects. The difference is that organic farmers can’t use most synthetic substances, while conventional farmers can use any type of pesticide deemed safe by the USDA.

What’s the difference between regular and organic?

What’s the difference between organic and non-organic foods? The difference between organic and non-organic (conventional) food has to do with how food is produced. For example, organic food like vegetables, fruit, eggs, milk and meat is produced without: Synthetic (human-made) pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

What is difference between organic and inorganic farming?

In organic farming manures are They are created by decomposing the waste residues of the dead plants,animals,etc… In inorganic farming fertilizers are used instead of manures which leads harmful to the soil… It will help in the production of crops…

image

What is conventional farming?

The prevailing agricultural system, variously called “ conventional farming ,” “modern agriculture ,” or “industrial farming,” has delivered tremendous gains in productivity and efficiency. Food production worldwide has risen in the past 50 years; the World Bank estimates that between 70 percent and 90 percent of the recent increases in food production are the result of conventional agriculture rather than greater acreage under cultivation. U.S. consumers have come to expect abundant and inexpensive food.

What are the characteristics of a conventional farming system?

However, they share many characteristics such as rapid technological innovation, large capital investments in equipment and technology, large-scale farms, single crops ( monocultures ); uniform high-yield hybrid crops, dependency on agribusiness, mechanization of farm work, and extensive use of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. In the case of livestock, most production comes from systems where animals are highly concentrated and confined.

Why is the productivity of soil declining?

Decline in soil productivity can be due to wind and water erosion of exposed topsoil, soil compaction, loss of soil organic matter, water holding capacity, and biological activity ; and salinization (increased salinity) of soils in highly-irrigated farming areas. Converting land to desert ( desertification) can be caused by overgrazing of livestock and is a growing problem, especially in parts of Africa.

What is the agricultural sector?

Economically, the U.S. agricultural sector includes a history of increasingly large federal expenditures. Also observed is a widening disparity among the income of farmers and the escalating concentration of agribusiness —industries involved with manufacture, processing, and distribution of farm products—into fewer and fewer hands. Market competition is limited and farmers have little control over prices of their goods, and they continue to receive a smaller and smaller portion of consumer dollars spent on agricultural products.

Why is farming important?

Historically, farming played an important role in our development and identity as a nation. From strongly agrarian roots, we have evolved into a culture with few farmers. Less than two percent of Americans now produce food for all U.S. citizens. Can sustainable and equitable food production be established when most consumers have so little connection to the natural processes that produce their food? What intrinsically American values have changed and will change with the decline of rural life and farmland ownership?

What is the role of the destruction of tropical forests and other native vegetation for agricultural production?

Destruction of tropical forests and other native vegetation for agricultural production has a role in elevated levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Recent studies have found that soils may be large reservoirs of carbon.

How many farms were lost in the past few decades?

Economic pressures have led to a tremendous loss to the number of farms, particularly small farms, and farmers during the past few decades. More than 155,000 farms were lost from 1987 to 1997. Economically, it is very difficult for potential farmers to enter the business today because of the high cost of doing business.

What is conventional farming?

Conventional farming is a term used to designate farming techniques that are traditionally, and often controversially, oriented towards using technology, pesticides, chemicals and other synthetic tools in the cultivation of crops.

Is conventional farming a good example?

According to the USDA, there is no concrete example of conventional farming, as it takes different forms depending on the farm, the region and the nation. However, some consistent features include high levels of capital investment and technological innovation as well as the frequent use of commercial pesticides. Opponents of conventional farming often associate it with less vigilant ecological practices, particularly with regard to the use of chemicals employed to manage the infiltration of weeds and pests. According to Fresh Connect, such practices may lead to unacceptable levels of toxicity and long-term health implications for consumers.

How does conventional farming work?

Conventional farming manages resource inputs (i.e., fertilizer, irrigation water, amendments, pesticides) uniformly, ignoring the naturally inherent spatial heterogeneity of soil and crop conditions between and within fields. The uniform application of inputs results in over and under applications of resources.

Why should organic farming be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner?

The care principle – organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.

How can agronomic management improve soil quality?

Improved agronomic management can improve soil quality and make cropping systems more resilient to changing environmental conditions. Conservation agriculture, based on minimum tillage, crop residue retention and crop rotation, can improve infiltration and reduce evaporation compared to practices involving conventional tillage, and zero tillage without retention of adequate levels of crop residue ( Verhulst et al., 2010 ). The reduction in tillage and increased carbon input in conservation agriculture result in more stable aggregates ( Bronick and Lal, 2005 ). Residue cover prevents aggregate breakdown, and thus crust formation, which is caused by direct raindrop impact as well as by rapid wetting, and drying of soils ( Le Bissonnais, 1996 ). In addition, the residue cover slows down runoff, giving the water more time to infiltrate.

Why do we need a break crop?

In the stockless rotations, the break crop is needed to provide a pest, disease, and weed break, and for nutrient addition . Soil physical and structural problems can occur in both stocked and stockless rotations and particularly in certain soil types ( Shepherd et al., 2000 ). Some break crops can be used to help alleviate such problems, either because of the nature of the break crop itself or as a result of cultivation methods used during production.

Why is manure used in farming?

Manure and compost are regularly used in both organic and conventional farming as a soil amendment to provide vital minerals and organic matter aiding in soil structure and plant growth. Soil and soil amendments are necessary for most farm operations, however inattention to the quality of material going into the system can pose a food safety risk. Although conventional farming systems may opt to implement synthetic chemical fertilizers that are relatively low food safety risk, organic growers are restricted in resources available for fertilization and hence should always consider any microbial risk associated with their soil amendment choice. A common option for organic fertilizer, manure has been extensively studied as a source and habitat for human pathogens. Of particular concern in these animal-derived fertilizers are the enterohemorrhagic E. coli such as E. coli O157:H7, an enteric pathogen whose reservoir is the cattle gut, but has also been found in wildlife such as deer ( Ferens and Hovde, 2011 ).

What is remote sensing used for in agriculture?

Mulla (2013) reviewed the key advances in remote sensing for precision agriculture and Corwin and Plant (2005) reviewed the application of EC a in precision agriculture. Multispectral imagery has been used in precision agriculture for mapping crop growth and yield variability ( Inman et al., 2008; Varvel et al., 1999; Yang and Everitt, 2002 ), characterizing soil spatial variability ( Barnes et al., 2003 ), mapping water status ( Cohen et al., 2017 ), and identifying crop pest infestations ( Backoulou et al., 2015) and disease ( Yang et al., 2016 ). Hyperspectral imagery has also mapped crop yield variability ( Goel et al., 2003; Yang et al., 2007; Zarco-Tejada et al., 2005) and crop pests ( Fitzgerald et al., 2004; Kumar et al., 2012; Li et al., 2014; MacDonald et al., 2016) as well as soil fertility ( Bajwa and Tian, 2005 ). Many of the earliest applications of proximal sensors were for site-specific crop management ( Corwin, 2008; Corwin and Lesch, 2005a ). Most of these applications related maps of productivity zones to maps of EC a or γ-ray measurements without any associated site-specific management recommendations. Corwin et al. (2003b) departed from this early approach. Corwin et al. (2003b) hypothesized that in instances where EC a correlates with crop yield, then EC a must be measuring some edaphic property or properties influencing yield. Spatial EC a information was used to direct a soil and crop-yield sampling plan that identified sites reflecting the range and variability of soil properties influencing crop yield. Subsequently, a crop-yield response model relating crop yield to various edaphic properties influencing the crop yield was formulated. From the crop-yield response model, site-specific management units (SSMUs) were delineated and site-specific management recommendations were developed for the SSMUs.

What are the four soil properties that contribute to maize yield?

Approximately 53% of the spatial variation in maize yield was attributable to the variation of four soil properties: EC e, texture, organic carbon content, and ρ b. The spatial variability of these properties was characterized by combining EC a -directed soil sampling based on a simulated spatial annealing sampling strategy and bare-soil NDVI, which resulted in five SSMUs using fuzzy c-means clustering. This research pointed out the utility of the combined use of proximal and satellite sensors to delineate SSMUs.

What is conventional agriculture?

Conventional agriculture has been defined as ”capital intensive, large-scale, highly mechanized agriculture with monoculture of crops and extensive use of artificial fertilizers, herbi- cides, and pesticides with intensive animal husbandry ” (Knorr and Watkins, 1984).

What is conventional farming?

Conventional farming is the use of seeds that have been genetically altered using a variety of traditional breeding methods, excluding biotechnology, and are not certified as organic.

What is the difference between organic and conventional farming?

Organic refers to how farmers grow and process food. Conventional farming sprays pesticides to get rid of pests, while organic farmers turn to insects and birds, mating disruption, or traps. Conventional farming uses chemical herbicides to manage weeds, while organic farming rotates crops, hand weeds, or mulches.

Why is organic farming important?

Importance of Organic Agriculture Maintain and improve fertility, soil structure and biodiversity, and reduce erosion. Reduce the risks of human, animal, and environmental exposure to toxic materials. Fine-tune farming practices to meet local production conditions and satisfy local markets.

Is conventional food safe?

Conventional food is just as safe as organic food. Modern agriculture is sustainable. Simply put, it takes less land to grow more food using modern, conventional agriculture. Organic farms rely heavily on mechanical tillage, which can cause soil erosion and water loss, or expensive hand labor to remove weeds.

Does conventional farming harm the soil?

It potentially harms the soil. Conventional farming takes a toll on the soil that is able to produce crops.

What is conventional farming?

Conventional farming is the use of seeds that have been genetically altered using a variety of traditional breeding methods , excluding biotechnology, and are not certified as organic. Some conventional breeding methods have been used for thousands of years, often times to develop plants with faster growth, higher yields, pest and disease resistance, larger seeds or sweeter fruit. Conventional crops may be grown simply as commodities and enter the commodity stream where they are mixed with other crops, including GE, or they may be grown to meet a requirement set forth by an end market, such as a specific chemical or nutritional requirement. When conventional crops are targeted for a unique end market, farmers often receive premium prices.

What is coexistence in agriculture?

Coexistence, as defined by the AC21 report, is the concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, identity preserved (IP), and genetically engineered crops consistent with underlying consumer preferences and farmer choices. In other words, it is the existence of different types of production at the same time and in the same area. Market demands on U.S.-grown crops are increasing, and it will take products from the organic, conventional and biotechnology sectors to meet those demands. Understanding the differences and challenges of each sector, recognizing opportunities for growth in each sector, and understanding how one sector impacts the other two, will be critical as the agriculture industry continues to expand.

Do conventional crops require IP?

Conventional crops are grown for many markets, and meeting those market needs may or may not require IP, depending on the crop and the market. One of the more specific markets is the food ingredient market where consumer sensitivities exist around biotech ingredients and IP practices may be required. In contrast, commodity markets for wheat and rice, where biotech varieties have not been commercialized, do not in general require IP practices unless there are additional quality characteristics specified. While not addressing the organic market, conventional products, whether with or without IP, can supply the market demand for specific non-GE food ingredients.

Will there be new opportunities in conventional farming?

As consumer demands and expectations from the food industry continue to evolve, it’s likely there will be new opportunities in conventional farming . This may be especially true for overseas markets that have specific quality and trait expectations, particularly with food-grade products.

What is the goal of conventional agriculture?

The goal of conventional agriculture is to maximize the potential yield of crops. This is achieved through the application of synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, and a number of other industrial products. In maintaining a conventional system, biodiversity, soil fertility, and ecosystems health are compromised (Huntley, Collins, and Swisher). Production of these crops is beneficial to nothing but food security and economy. Once established, a conventional farm requires constant maintenance but produces maximal yields.

Why is conventional agriculture important?

Conventional agriculture is a broad term that has a number of definitions, but a crop can be classified as conventional if synthetic chemicals are used to maintain the plants. A significant amount of chemical and energy input is required in conventional agriculture to produce the highest possible yield of crops. “This method usually alters the natural environment, deteriorates soil quality, and eliminates biodiversity.” ( USDA.gov ). Conventional agriculture was developed to make farming more efficient, but achieves that efficiency at a major cost to the environment.

Why is intercropping important?

Intercropping is one of many early discoveries in agriculture still being implemented today that promotes biodiversity, maintains soil composition, and fortifies plant health.

Why is uniformity important in agriculture?

Uniformity can determine both the success and failure of conventional systems. A uniform crop is ideal because it reduces labor costs and makes harvesting easy, but it can also impact biodiversity and make crops susceptible to pathogens (Gabriel, Salt, Kunin, and Benton 2013).

Why is soil management important?

Soil management is vital for existing farms because agricultural production is increasing globally and land is becoming less available to accommodate this growth. Conventional systems can improve soil quality by practicing sustainable methods like no-tillage farming, agroforestry, and integrated pest management, but sustainable agriculture is the most effective form of food production in terms of maintaining soil conditions. “Establishing trees on agricultural land can help to mitigate many of the negative impacts of agriculture, for example by regulating soil, water and air quality, supporting biodiversity, reducing inputs by natural regulation of pests and more efficient nutrient cycling, and by modifying local and global climates.” (Smith, Pearce, and Wolfe 2012). Again, research shows that an increase in biodiversity and a reduction of chemical input can result in conventional farms with more healthy soils and improved crop performance.

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture is a more holistic approach to farming than conventional in that it relies on ecosystem services and is typically much less detrimental to the surrounding landscape. Sustainable agriculture is a natural way to produce food and has a number of social, economic, and environmental benefits.

How does conventional farming work?

In a conventional system farmers will designate entire fields to just one crop, which creates uniformity . Uniformity can determine both the success and failure of conventional systems. A uniform crop is ideal because it reduces labor costs and makes harvesting easy, but it can also impact biodiversity and make crops susceptible to pathogens (Gabriel, Salt, Kunin, and Benton 2013). Chemicals and genetically modified organisms make maintenance of conventional systems relatively simple for farmers, but require a constant input of energy and money. In a conventional system, farmers can apply pesticides and herbicides to crops at a much more efficient rate if they are made up of just one type of plant, but this has a number of unintended consequences. Since the goal of conventional agriculture is to maximize yields, environmental health and biodiversity are usually not preserved.

Ecological Concerns

  • Agriculture profoundly affects many ecological systems. Negative effects of current practices include the following: Decline in soil productivity can be due to wind and water erosion of exposed topsoil, soil compaction, loss of soil organic matter, water holding capacity, and biological activity; and salinization (increased salinity) of soils in hi…

See more on openoregon.pressbooks.pub

Economic and Social Concerns

  • Economically, the U.S. agricultural sector includes a history of increasingly large federal expenditures. Also observed is a widening disparity among the income of farmers and the escalating concentration of agribusiness—industries involved with manufacture, processing, and distribution of farm products—into fewer and fewer hands. Market competition is limited and far…

See more on openoregon.pressbooks.pub

Impacts on Human Health

  • Many potential health hazards are tied to farming practices. The general public may be affected by the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal production and the contamination of food and water by pesticides and nitrates. These are areas of active research to determine the levels of risk. The health of farm workers is also of concern, as their risk of exposure is much higher.

See more on openoregon.pressbooks.pub

Philosophical Considerations

  • Historically, farming played an important role in our development and identity as a nation. From strongly agrarian roots, we have evolved into a culture with few farmers. Less than two percent of Americans now produce food for all U.S. citizens. Can sustainable and equitable food production be established when most consumers have so little connection to the natural processes that pro…

See more on openoregon.pressbooks.pub

Leave a Comment