The Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Modernization

Farming is a vital industry that is constantly changing to improve crop yields while minimizing the impact on the environment. The seven billion people on the planet need to eat, and the farms around the globe need to provide food while still being stewards of the land.

Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Modernization

Worries About Continued Environmental Damage

Innovative farming techniques continue to consider the environment, especially as the population grows. With many areas of the world being affected by global climate change, farmers need to learn how to accelerate their productivity.

Unfortunately, farming techniques have harmed the environment. Farmers need new techniques that protect the land and deliver respectable crop yields. Farming communities should evaluate their water usage, grazing land, and fertilizer choices to begin to reverse the damage done through the generations.

Making changes to environmental practices in the farming industry can help reduce climate change anxiety. With so much talk about rising sea levels and increased forest fires, people living with anxiety often worry about how farms will feed everyone on the planet. When farmers help take care of the planet, anxiety levels can drop.

Taking Care of Farmers

People who work on farms need to take care of themselves. Farming is hard work, so farmers should use stretches for sciatica to keep their backs and legs strong and flexible. Workers with healthy bodies have the peace of mind to develop solutions to protect the land from environmental damage.

compost-organic-waste-farming

The concept of safe food using organic waste generated compost is getting traction.

Farmers also need to take care of their physical and mental health. Unfortunately, too many farmers suffer from depression and other mental health issues. Sadly, they don’t reach out for help because mental health problems have a stigma in many farming communities.

If the people of the world expect farmers to make innovative changes to their techniques to protect the environment and feed the world, farmers must get the health care they need. It’s challenging to do a hard job when your body and mind are suffering.

Using Fertilizers Wisely

With synthetic fertilizers, farmers can increase the speed of their crop production. Modern farming communities have used synthetic fertilizers for generations, but these fertilizers have put too much nitrogen into farm fields. While this isn’t problematic for grains like corn, wheat, and rice, it is for other foods.

liquid fertilizer

The excessive levels of nitrogen in the soil don’t stay there. Unfortunately, the nitrogen washes into waterways and gets into the air. The nitrogen harms aquatic ecosystems and can cause toxic algae blooms that destroy the organic matter that feeds fish, animals, and people. Eventually, the waterways become dead zones, and nothing grows in them.

Because China manufactures and uses nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers, many waterways are polluted and no longer provide fish and plants as they once did. The Gulf of Mexico has several dead zones from toxic algae blooms due to nitrogen fertilizer. These synthetic fertilizers release nitrous oxide, a dangerous greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. People, animals, and plants cannot thrive when too much nitrous oxide is in the atmosphere.

To improve the environment, farmers need to look for alternative fertilizers that do not damage ecosystems. Fertilizers need to improve the efficiency of crop yields without hurting other food sources.

Improving Irrigation Efficiency

Along with fertilizers, farms need fresh water. The majority of freshwater on the plant goes to the agriculture industry, and farmers use a plethora of techniques to get water and feed their plants. Sadly, many parts of the world have freshwater sources, making it more challenging for farmers to effectively feed their crops.

Diverting so much freshwater to farms is environmentally and economically taxing. Moving water can wreak havoc on the environment by creating areas that become oversaturated and other areas that dry out. Irrigation practices can also affect the weather, as evaporation from groundwater and irrigation channels becomes precipitation.

Irrigation practices can empty aquifers. It can also change coastlines and ecosystems. Farmers need to develop innovative methods to reduce the water needed to irrigate plants properly. They also need to consider the water they use to keep their animals hydrated. Water is a necessary commodity, but one that needs better regulation to protect the resource.

Conclusion

Farmers and stakeholders need to develop innovative techniques that protect the environment from damage from agricultural modernization.

Synthetic fertilizer negatively affects fresh and saltwater around the world. Farms need irrigation, but they need to change how they get water and use it. Without changes, the farming industry will suffer from irreversible damage from neglective practices and climate change.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.
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