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How Have Changes in Farming have altered the rural environment?

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Introduction

Michael Wright How Changes in Farming have altered the rural environment? Farming has experienced many changes related to biological, chemical, mechanical and environmental developments. It has also developed because of new policies introduced and these development shave had a large impact on rural environments. One of the general ways agriculture has developed is by agribusiness. Agribusinesses are farms owned by large companies usually trans-national. These farms are very large with high capital investment and use modern technologies to increase crop yields. With these farms profit is the most important and often at the expense of social and environmental factors. An example of an agribusiness is Unilever who invest heavily in the developed and developing world. They employ over 120,000 people in the developing word in plantations and in factories for low wages. The impacts are mainly negative for rural environments because wages are likely to be lower and the local people have little control over farming, however jobs are secure which is needed as farming jobs falling by 14% in the 1990s.. ...read more.

Middle

However there are two main problems with the use of fertilisers they reduce humus in the soil which promotes erosion and if too much fertiliser is used it can get into the water supply causing eutrophication. Pesticides have also been used on farms these protect crops by killing pests, which mean an income is secure. However there are around 2 species in danger of extension because of the use of pesticides and claims that they can cause health risks for humans. The use of chemical on farms have had positive effects for farmers because it improves and secures the income from the crops however there use has had many negative effects environmentally and socially. Intensive farming has also had many impacts on rural environments. Intensive farming is when a high level of input is used to achieve a high yield per hectare. In MEDCs this has been achieved by mechanical developments or in LEDCs by a large labour force. The mechanisation of farming includes the developments of combine harvesters, tractors and aircraft. ...read more.

Conclusion

The advantage of using irrigation is it can increase yields however it can cause environmental problems. These problems are creating dam floods large areas and river flow I affected, pollution by fertilisers and pesticides can reach rivers by the run-off water from fields. The water table can also drop if abstraction levels are high. Glasshouses are also used to create higher yields because they reduce the limiting factor of light, which increase the growth of plants. `Battery` farming also works in a similar way and is designed to create the best conditions for farming. I think overall the changes in farming have been positive for the farmers because the introduction of CAP and mechanisation of farming means a lower labour force is needed increasing profit and developments in chemical, environmental and biological activities have meant that a high yield can be produced. However I think the impact on rural environments has been mainly negative with the mechanisation of farming decreasing the number of jobs, which would cause rural- urban migration. Also there have been mean negative environmental impacts in these areas with the loss of habitats from hedgerow removal and pollution cause by the use of chemicals such as fertilisers. ...read more.

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