What negative effects does agriculture have on the environment


Its use causes the release of ammonia, nitrogen runoff and eutrophication, all of which have negative effects on the environment. The practice of agriculture has been around for emissions is fossil fuel usage; nonetheless, the hundreds of years and has become a basic way of second largest cause of increased carbon dioxide life for a majority of the world.

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.


Does agriculture harm 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.

What are environmental factors that influence agriculture?

Environmental factors that influence the extent of crop agriculture are terrain, climate, soil properties, and soil water. It is the combination of these four factors that allow specific crops to be grown in certain areas.

How can agriculture help fix the environment?

  • Production of sufficient human food, feed, fiber, and fuel to meet the needs of a sharply rising population
  • Protection of the environment and expansion of the natural resources supply
  • Sustainment of the economic viability of agriculture systems

What are some positive and negative impacts of Agriculture?

The Potential Negative Effects Of Agriculture On The Environment, & The Sustainable Use Of Resources

  • Summary – Potential Negative Effects Of Agriculture On The Environment, & The Sustainable Use Of Resource. …
  • Agriculture Impacts Many Different Aspects Of Society Overall. …
  • Key Variables That Can Contribute To Environmental & Sustainability Issues In Agriculture
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Climate Change. …
  • Deforestation, Land Clearing, & Change In Land Use

More items…


What are the disadvantages of agriculture?

Cons of AgricultureRisks of child labor. The increased demand for agricultural products calls for increased labor to realize huge profits. … Environmental pollution. … Health issues. … Agriculture leads to overgrazing. … Agriculture may disturb the family dynamics. … Spread of diseases. … Unpredictable weather. … Misuse of land.

What are the positive and negative impacts of agriculture on the environment?

While negative impacts are serious, and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils, or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices.

How much does agriculture affect the environment?

Agriculture emits an estimated 10.5 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gases; however, agriculture also provides opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

What are the negative impacts of agriculture on soil?

Deterioration of soil quality and reduction in agricultural productivity due to nutrient depletion, organic matter losses, erosion and compaction. Pollution of soil and water through the over use of fertilizers and the improper use and disposal of animal wastes.

What are five environmental effects of agriculture?

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.

How does agriculture cause pollution?

Agricultural pollution has many different sources. 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 cause global warming?

Agriculture is a significant contributor to anthropogenic global warming, and reducing agricultural emissions—largely methane and nitrous oxide—could play a significant role in climate change mitigation.

What are the positive impacts of agriculture on the environment?

Pasture and cropland occupy around 50 percent of the Earth’s habitable land and provide habitat and food for a multitude of species. When agricultural operations are sustainably managed, they can preserve and restore critical habitats, help protect watersheds, and improve soil health and water quality.

How is agriculture making a positive impact?

We plant cover crops to take better care of our soil. Cover crops hold nutrients in the soil, help retain moisture in the soil, reduce runoff, reduce the need for tillage and store more carbon in the soil. We live in hilly terrain and have witnessed the value of cover crops in helping us improve soil and water quality.

How is farming positive for the environment?

Our farmers are a vital part of our economy, providing jobs for people in rural communities and food for our tables. Farmers also play a critical role in protecting our environment and helping to tackle climate change by locking carbon into soils.

What are the environmental benefits of agriculture?

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

What are the effects of agriculture on the environment?

Pollutants such as pesticides are also a major part of agriculture that negatively impacts the environment. It is self-explanatory; these products are chemicals that can have a long-lasting effect on soil and plants if used continuously.

What are the environmental impacts 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 deforestation affect agriculture?

Because of deforestation, many animal species lose their habitat, and as previously mentioned, it leads to climate change. Climate change and deforestation are the two biggest and most important ways through which agriculture impacts our environment.

What are the two things that agriculture releases?

Various types of agriculture also use fertilization and pesticides, which releases phosphorus and nitrate in the air , among other things. Various types of agriculture also use fertilization and pesticides, which releases phosphorus and nitrate in the air, among other things.

How does irrigation affect the environment?

It can lead to the depletion of underground layers of water that are crucial for the environment. Agriculture can have a massive impact on the ecosystems surrounding it. This environmental impact …

What is deforestation caused by?

Farmers often cause deforestation by clearing land for their crops. Most of the deforestation happens because of slash-and-burn farming.

Why is irrigation important?

Irrigation, the process of applying controlled amounts of water to plants, can also create various problems for the environment. It can lead to the depletion of underground layers of water that are crucial for the environment.

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.

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 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 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.

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 will happen to the world population as the population continues to skyrocket?

With the global population continuing to skyrocket, the tension will continue to grow between continued agricultural growth and the ecological health of the land upon which humans depend. More than half the planet’s suitable land has been cultivated for crops, like these terraced rice fields in Bali, Indonesia.

How does urban agriculture help the environment?

Urban agriculture on a small scale can help to localize food production, reducing the overall environmental footprint of our modern food systems. Benefits include lower greenhouse gas emissions, minimal transportation requirements, and reduced energy use for food production.

How does rotational grazing affect biodiversity?

Through grazing for a limited time period in one area, biodiversity of native plants increases because grasses have time to regrow equally without one species taking over and becoming invasive.

What are some examples of agricultural systems?

For example, open meadow habitats are important for species like waterfowl, amphibians and for pollinators. Some species even increase in number due to agricultural activities.

Why is maintaining land important?

Maintaining land for agricultural use can also prevent that land from being developed and urbanized, in areas where native species have difficulty finding original habitat. The United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) created seven voluntary land conservation programs for this purpose.

How do plants and trees help the aquifer?

Plants and trees in agricultural systems help to retain and add water to underground aquifers. This process is most effective when the crops being grown are perennials that continue to grow every year and have deep, well-established root systems.

Why do grasslands exist?

Grasslands provide habitat to a great number of animals and native plants. These areas have been almost entirely wiped out in other countries of Europe due to modern development or intensive agriculture. In Romania, however, they still exist because of the traditional (low-impact) way of farming and seasonal grazing of livestock by shepherds.

How does artificial farming affect the environment?

Besides the environment, it also affects the health of humans and other animals as they are directly dependent on it for food. So, agriculture is one of the precious means of work and has to be done with ethics.

How does deforestation affect groundwater?

The decrease in groundwater: Water for irrigation is mostly supplied by rains and also rivers. Due to deforestation, the rains are minimal. Due to this, farmers rely on tube well or bore wells to irrigate their crops using groundwater. When widely used, the groundwater levels reduce.

What are the three types of pollution?

6. Destruction of natural species. Pollution: Agriculture leads to three type of pollution like. Air pollution. Soil pollution. Water pollution. All these three forms of pollution are again due to a single cause. That is the heavy use of chemical manures and pesticides.

How does food contamination affect the body?

Once, they get into the body; they alter the hormonal secretions and nervous system . Since these are vital body systems; the health of the individual is affected over time.

Why is fertilizer discontinued?

But, due to the recognition of its effects on the soil and environment , this has been discontinued.

Why are seed companies important?

The seed companies introduce the techniques of biotechnology to enhance disease resistance, drought resistance etc. In doing so, the farmers become dependent on these seeds. The natural seeds are extinct in many places. These seeds produced by the company may give rise to high crop yield.

Why is the pH of soil changing?

Bacteria in the soil tend to decay the waste and enhance soil fertility. But when the pH is changed, they are unable to survive; this leads to the destruction of environmental diversity and balance.

How does agroforestry affect the environment?

Significantly, the study proves that agroforestry systems give positive environmental impacts on air and water quality, soil improvement, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and climate change mitigation, as well as solve the issues of food security and safety.

How did the Green Revolution affect agriculture?

The Green Revolution entails agricultural intensification through excessive and sometimes inappropriate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which has polluted water bodies and degraded soils , led to biodiversity loss by killing beneficial plants, insects and other wildlife and in some cases poisoned farm workers. The study assessed the side effects of intensive agricultural production on environment in Benue State, Nigeria. The major objective of the study was to examine the side effects of intensive agriculture on environment, while the specific objectives were to identify major the problems caused by intensive farming, find out major benefits of intensive farming, ascertain the effects of intensive farming on the soil and examine ways of reducing intensive farming. Primary data were gathered by survey using structured questionnaire administered on 115 respondents (farmers/labourers working in intensive farms) were selected randomly from five different farms. Data gathered were analyzed through descriptive statistics which revealed that farm accidents with machines 87.9%, availability of food throughout the year 94.8%, destruction of soil organic matter 61.7% and practicing organic agriculture 33.95%. It is recommended that operators of farm machines should be trained before allowed to handle any machine for farm operations.

What causes low soil fertility?

Low soil fertility is caused by continue crop and using chemical fertilizer. The biofertilizer containing microorganisms able to increase soil fertility. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of biofertilizer under freezed condition and exposed to different period of storage and growth parameters of chilli plant grown under field conditions. Nitrogen fixing organisms (Azotobacter, Azospirillum sp) and Phosphate solubilizing organisms (Bacillus, Pseudomonas sp) were isolated from the soil sample from Edaiyur, Thiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu, South India. Liquid biofertilizer are stored at deep freezer in the time interval 0 to 3 months. Viability assessment was also done by colony forming unit (CFU). The plant namely Capsicum annum L was treated with liquid biofertilizer T1- Mixture of freeze dried Liquid biofertilizer (Azospirillum, Azotobacter, Bacillus, Pseudomonas), T2- Freeze dried biofertilizer Azospirillum, T3- Freeze dried biofertilizer Azotobacter, T4- Freeze dried biofertilizer Bacillus, T5- Freeze dried biofertilizer Pseudomonas, C- Control. The results was measured that terms of number of leaves, height of plant, shoot length, root length, number of roots and biochemical constituents such as total chlorophyll content and carotenoids was increased at 60 days, after sowing. Among the overall treatments (T1) showed better response for combined inoculations than the other treatments and control. The result showed that viability of bacterium tended to decline during storage of biofertilizer but did not significantly reduce the effect on growth and production of plant. The study suggested that application of biofertilizer improves growth and production and there was no any declined effect of microbial population between 0 and 3 months storage of biofertilizers on plant growth.

What are the negative impacts of conversion?

The conversion is globally giving negative impacts towards environment including forest degradation, habitat fragmentation, and climate change. Being in environmental concern, the practices are considered as unsustainable since the systems decrease the value of the natural environment in long term period.

What are the negative effects of fertilizer?

Its use causes the release of ammonia, nitrogen runoff and eutrophication, all of which have negative effects on the environment.

Why is agriculture important?

Agriculture is important for people all over the world in order to obtain food to sustain the ever-growing population. However, the current practices for obtaining more and more food has several environmental challenges. Hence, new environmentally friendly fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides have been developed that enhance crop yield by facilitating maximum nutrient uptake by the application of nanotechnology that will help in promoting sustainable agriculture by the slow or controlled release fertilizers. This slow discharge encourages improved delivery of nutrients to the plants that further speeds up early germination, fast growth, and high nutritional level. The current study is aimed to review nano-chemicals used in agriculture that have been developed by the researchers all over the world.

Should farmers be informed of integrated pest management practices?

It is recommended that proper and timely information on integrated pest management practices should be made known to farmers and extension workers should regularly visit farmers and educate them on integrated pest management practices to reduce the complications identified by farmers in adopting the practices.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

It significantly endangers agricultural sustainability and increases water and soil erosion during rains and flowing waters. About 141.3-million-hectare of global land are facing serious erosion issues due to uncontrolled deforestation, over-grazing, and the use of inappropriate cultural practices.

What are the effects of intensive agriculture on crop productivity?

On the other hand, soil degradation results in a decline in soil quality, soil biodiversity, and essential nutrients affecting crop productivity.

Why do farmers use plastic mulch?

Recently, farmers started using plastic sheets as mulch to cover soil (50-70%) for the efficient practice of drip irrigation to enhance crop productivity. By using pesticides with plastics, runoff pesticides can be more easily transported to wet-lands or streams, causing severe deformation of water reserves.

What are the effects of phosphorus and nitrogen?

Eutrophication is one of the side effects of deposited phosphorus and nitrogen. These pollutants are also contributing to developing toxic algal-blooms in lakes of China, the US, and more. Land and water accumulated nitrogen is also a gigantic threat to native biodiversity and the health of natural habitats.

Why are forest fires so unpredictable?

Unpredictable forest fires due to rising global warming. Fewer afforestation activities. Deforestation is a leading cause of climate change and habitat loss for millions of species. Therefore, it turns to be one of the significant negative effects of agriculture on the environment.

How do bees help the environment?

Bees can help in more pollination and fertilization. Agricultural expansion is causing severe damage to the habitat of native species. As for more profit and production farmers are moving toward the use of hybrid seeds and genetically modified crops which are causing huge damage to native species.

How does removing trees affect water quality?

Removing trees can lead to faster evaporation of water due to lack of shades and will also adversely affect the water-quality. Later, this poor water quality will affect the rest of the ecosystem and result in uneven watering, increased salinity, and death of plants.

What are the effects of agricultural pollution?

Here are the elaborate effects of agricultural pollution. Health Problems. Pesticides, ammonia, heavy metals, fertilizers, and oils from farms and farm machinery pose serious health problems when they enter drinking water. When humans consume the contaminated water, they directly absorb the harmful substances in their systems which can result in …

How does agriculture affect aquatic life?

Since agricultural pollution mainly impacts water systems and ground water, aquatic life forms are severely affected. The agrochemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers can be absorbed by the aquatic life forms affecting their health and reproductive cycles. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers, manure and animal waste in surface …

How does eutrophication affect fish?

Eutrophication extensively depletes dissolved oxygen which can kill fish and other aquatic biota. It is also linked to increased incidence of paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans, leading to death. Soil Pollution and Depletion of Soil Fertility.

How do pesticides affect soil fertility?

As a result, it gradually alters the soil microbial activities and soil chemistry, depleting soil fertility by killing soil microorganisms.

What are the causes of water pollution?

Agricultural operations and practices such as inappropriate water management and irrigation mainly lead to water pollution from surface run-off, both to surface and ground water. The use of fertilizers, pesticides, manure, herbicides and other agrochemicals lead to widespread contamination of waterways and ground waters and depreciate water quality.

Why are millions of fertile soils lost annually?

Reports determine that millions of fertile soils are lost annually because of the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides combined with other farm practice s. Water Pollution. READ: Various Causes of Light Pollution.

How does soil erosion affect the environment?

Soil erosion and sedimentation equally contaminates the water, makes it dirty, and increases its turbidity. In turn, plants, wildlife, humans, animals and aquatic life are negatively affected. Air Pollution. Livestock and fertilized soils can be considerable sources of gaseous emissions.

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 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.

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.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

The environmental impact of agriculture involves impacts on a variety of different factors: the soil, to water, the air, animal and soil variety, people, plants, and the food itself. Agriculture contributes to a number larger of environmental issues that cause environmental degradation including: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, …

How can farming communities reduce environmental impacts?

Farming communities that try to reduce environmental impacts through modifying their practices will adopt sustainable agriculture practices. The negative impact of agriculture is an old issue that remains a concern even as experts design innovative means to reduce destruction and enhance eco-efficiency.

Why do pesticides and plasticulture cause death?

The runoff from pesticides and chemicals in the plastic can cause serious deformations and death in shellfish as the runoff carries the chemicals towards the oceans.

How do pesticides affect other species?

Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, because they are sprayed or spread across entire agricultural fields. Runoff can carry pesticides into aquatic environments while wind can carry them to other fields, grazing areas, human settlements and undeveloped areas, potentially affecting other species. Other problems emerge from poor production, transport and storage practices. Over time, repeated application increases pest resistance, while its effects on other species can facilitate the pest’s resurgence.

What are the causes of soil degradation?

Common attributes of soil degradation can be salting, waterlogging, compaction, pesticide contamination, a decline in soil structure quality, loss of fertility, changes in soil acidity, alkalinity, salinity, and erosion. Soil erosion is the wearing away of topsoil by water, wind, or farming activities. Topsoil is very fertile, which makes it valuable to farmers growing crops. Soil degradation also has a huge impact on biological degradation, which affects the microbial community of the soil and can alter nutrient cycling, pest and disease control, and chemical transformation properties of the soil.

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture is the idea that agriculture should occur in a way such that we can continue to produce what is necessary without infringing on the ability for future generations to do the same.

What are the bad practices in agriculture?

Bad management practices include poorly managed animal feeding operations, overgrazing, plowing, fertilizer, and improper, excessive, or badly timed use of pesticides. Pollutants from agriculture greatly affect water quality and can be found in lakes, rivers, wetlands, estuaries, and groundwater.


Agriculture Impacts Many Different Aspects of Society Overall

Agriculture impacts many areas of society overall, such as: – Soil, water, and air – Animals, plants, and wild living organisms – Humans – Our food supply itself … agriculture itself is even impacted upon by factors such as a changing climate, population growth, and technological advances. But, the impact of agriculture sp…

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Climate Change

  • Globally, agriculture leads all industries in methane and nitrous oxide emissions. There’s several ways that agriculture might contribute to a changing climate: – The clearing of land of trees and vegetation (and sometimes forests) to convert them into farms, ranches and agricultural land (changing their land use) One reason for this might be that trees and vegetation are a carbon sin…

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Deforestation, Land Clearing, & Change in Land Use

  • Different types of forests (and vegetation) can be cleared for new land uses These new land uses might include agriculture, logging, palm oil plantations, cocoa plantations, and a range of other uses Farming and agriculture are actually the leading causes of deforestation globally Some of the impacts of deforestation and land clearing might involve: – Removal of trees and vegetation …

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Land Degradation, & Soil Degradation

  • There’s many different types of land and soil degradation, but, physical and chemical degradation and contamination can be two of the broad categories When it comes to agriculture, intensive and unsustainable farming practices can degrade the land and soil over time (the structure and the quality of the land/soil) Some examples of these practices might include: – Overgrazing, harvest…

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General Waste Generation, & Also General Waste Pollution

  • Agricultural waste is one of the main types of waste in the world In general, agricultural waste needs to be managed correctly if it isn’t to end up as waste pollution There’s a range of types of agricultural waste – pesticides, fertilizers, waste water, livestock waste such as manure, veterinary medicines, and general farm waste like plastic sheets used for drip irrigation (which al…

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Use of Resources

  • Resources are used in different ways and for different purposes in agriculture. Resource use in agriculture can sometimes be unsustainable, inefficient, or simply divert resources away from other means’ of production. The waste of food at the consumer level also contributes to wasted agricultural resources indirectly, particularly for more perishable or fresh items like fruit and veg…

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Genetic Engineering & The Use of GMOs in Agriculture

  • Genetic engineering in agriculture can be a controversial topic when considering the potential environmental side effects. Just a few might be: Whether or not GMOs contribute to the development of super weeds (that are resistant to herbicides) Cross contamination of GMO seeds with conventional, or natural/organic seeds on the same farm, or other farms Read more about t…

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A Few Other Notes on Agriculture

  • The impact of any agricultural process or product will differ depending on variables such as: – The individual farm or agricultural operation – The geographic region (different States or Provinces within a country, or different countries such as developed and developing countries) – The agricultural practices usd (e.g. intensive agriculture vs more sustainable agriculture, or conv…

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Other Potential Effects of Agriculture

  • For a balanced view on the potential effects of agriculture, these guides contain some of the other potential effects: Positive Potential Positive Effects Of Agriculture On Overall Society Negative Potential Negative Effects Of Agriculture On Human, Health, Society & The Economy Potential Negative Effects Of Agriculture On Animals, Wildlife & Biodiversity Sources 1. https://en.wikipedi…

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