• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Intensive farming has led to major environmental destruction'. Discuss this statement with reference to two contrasting areas.

Extracts from this document...


Sunny Bhanot 16H 'Intensive farming has led to major environmental destruction'. Discuss this statement with reference to two contrasting areas. Introduction: With the growing world population (estimated to increase at a rate of 100 million per year) greater demand is being placed on the production of food. Coupled with this is the excessive demand and consumption of food by many richer countries. As population globally is expected to reach 9.4 billion by 2020, (International Programs Centre, US Bureau of the Census) demand for food shall continue to rise, the current population is 6.2 billion (International Programs Centre, US Bureau of the Census). One of the few remaining possibilities has been to resort to intensive farming. Intensive farming is where systems of farming are characterised by high levels of factor inputs; physical inputs - weather, climate, relief - [height, shape and aspect], soil, geology and latitude). Human inputs - machinery, fertiliser, pesticides, seeds, livestock, animal feed, workers/labour and buildings. Such systems keep land continually in use, in order to gain maximum output (grains, eggs, milk, meat etc). * Flow diagram 1: shows the physical and human inputs of farming. Environmental destruction is likely to occur where an intensive farm is unsustainable; where no considerations have been taken into outcome of certain processes made on farming systems or about the future consequences that some intensive farming methods may have upon the ...read more.


It is formed principally of glacial boulder clay overlying chalk, although large areas in the south have been reclaimed from the estuary. It has one of the fastest eroding coastlines in the world (approximately two metres per year). Collin Hogg BSc carried out a study to see what the environmental impacts of intensive livestock units (ILU's) were. I have summarised his findings into the table below. Category Main Impacts Landscape There was visual intrusion especially in the lowland landscape with little tree cover. The ILU's caused there to be a loss of important landscape features, as they were larger and more utilitarian in appearance than traditional farm buildings, and resembled an 'Industrial' nature. Water pollution There are two main sources of the water pollution; leakage of slurry or polluted water from inadequate or effluent storage, or surface water run-off arising from excessive or poorly executed disposal to land. In either case the result can be highly toxic pollution of water courses leading to fish kills, ecological damage and threats to drinking water. Pollution of groundwater and aquifers is possible. Land Pollution All animal wastes in Holderness are disposed of direct to land. This can be an agriculturally beneficial practice as long as the amount spread is balanced against the nutritional requirements of the crop. ...read more.


Well a case study of a cotton fields in America demonstrates that there are certain ways to cut out the major negative factors from intensive farming - pesticides. In this case more of the crop was being lost to pests each year and so an Internal Pest Management (IPM) advisor was employed to help find a solution. Common problems were pest resurgence (where pesticides kill the enemies of the pests as well which resulted in subsequent outbreaks or resurgence), secondary pest outbreak (an example is where one type of pest is killed, but then another type of pest emerges, because the type of pest killed used to keep the population of this new pest low, but now that it is dead, a new type of pest emerges - secondary pest) and evolution of resistance, (where pesticides had been applied so frequently that overtime some of the pest became immune to the pesticide). This led to the scenario where a wider range of pesticides were being used and their use was becoming more frequent. By using cultural control methods (planting alfalfa in narrow strips within the field attracted the pests, as this was a preferred food) and supplying additional nutrients to increase natural predators, the problem was resolved, at a much lower cost in terms of money and the environment than the use of pesticides. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    With reference to either Waste management in urban areas or Transport management in urban ...

    4 star(s)

    By introducing strategies to relieve traffic congestion such as high fuel and car ownership taxes and area entry fees, Cairo has made efforts to improve the sustainability of the city. However improving the transport management of Cairo will not achieve total sustainability as other problems such as energy resources are still posing serious threats to the country.

  2. With reference to named examples, explain the causes, effects and solutions to famine

    have normally fed upon these crops, nutrients produced by the crops or seeds of the crops suffered. The lack of food adversely affected huge numbers of food chains and it took many years for animal, as well as plant, fertility and population numbers to rise again.

  1. "Cleaner production is a continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes ...

    Ecolabeling. 6. National Awards for Prevention of Pollution. 7. Penalties for Breach of Regulations. POT SHOT AT SMOKE: (A CASE STUDY) This is the case of palam potteries unit situated at palam, near Delhi.

  2. A Local Ecosystem-Mt Keira

    As shown in both the table and graph the Sassafras tree was the most common, it is estimated that there are around 100,000 trees per 250 hectares. The next most common trees were the Brown Beech and Featherwood, with around 40,000 trees per 250 hectares.

  1. Why is the North Sea Known as the Cesspit of Europe?

    It could process a treatment as well to break down the chemicals and heavy metals before going to the sea. Also, it is absolutely necessary to make a law to limit oil waste from the ships. No washing out an oil tank is admitted in the sea and an accident

  2. Waste, the Landfill Tax and the Inert Problem

    of inert waste deposited at landfill should increase if the amount of mixed waste deposited decreases. This therefore suggests that there has been an increase in the amount of inert waste disposed of in the unregulated sectors, it is safe to make this assumption because inert waste cannot be incinerated and there is no evidence of increased recycling.

  1. Ethics of Wind Farms Erected at the Scarborough Bluffs

    The National Lightning Safety Institute says that nearly all of the damage caused to wind turbines is lightning. In addition, smaller models used in residential neighbourhoods also prove to be dangerous. They would attract lightning more so than a tree because of metallic components."11 This is a safety hazard for

  2. With reference to transport management in urban areas, discuss the extent to which sustainability ...

    As well as this, the charge has yet to be raised in the past 10 years, despite consistent inflation (making £10 much cheaper in real terms); therefore the system is not integrated with the economic climate, and will become less effective over time unless changes are made.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work