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

Industrialized agriculture.

Extracts from this document...


Industrialized agriculture requires energy for almost every aspect of food production. Industrial agriculture substitutes the by-products of energy use for both human labor and land and can increase yields by well over 100 % when compared to traditional methods. This increase in productivity, however, requires an increase in fossil fuel use by approximately 400 %. Some agricultural economists believe that the continued expansion of industrial agricultural methods into LDCs is manditory in order to meet the food requirements of their expanding populations. Environmentalist, on the other hand, suggest that this may not be possible because of the finite supply of fossil fuels and because of the costs of the environmental damage due to this method of agriculture. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, industrial agriculture requires large amountof fossil fuel use. ...read more.


More efficient analysis of soil nutrient status and crop needs could reduce the problem of over fertilization. * Changing the method of application to the crop. In general, surface applications of fertilizer only get 30-40 % of the nitrogen applied to the crop. Using more efficient methods, like sub-surface banding, could significantly reduce losses to the environment. * Using crop rotations. The planting of legumes (peas, beans, vetch, alfalfa, and leucaena trees) on alternative years can be used to re-charge the soil with nitrogen naturally. * Increasing the use of organic fertilizers. In China, the efficient use of organic nutrients from animal wastes, compost and green manure greatly supplements the use of inorganic fertilizers. 2. Irrigation. In the United States, 13 % of agricultural energy consumption is used to pump water, primarily from groundwater sources, for irrigation. ...read more.


Studies in industrialized countries have revealed that for every calorie of food consumed, on average, 10 calories of energy are used to produce, process and package the product. For comparison sake, one unit of human labor energy expended by the traditional farming techniques results in approximately one unit of food energy for consumption. Modern energy intensive agriculture can continue to expand for perhaps several more decades. However, with depleting oil reserves, energy prices are likely to escalate to a point where their use in industrial agricutural systems will be too expensive. Several things can be done now to minimize the use of fossil fuels. Farmers can begin to use local perpetual and renewable energy sources including wind, water, sun, animal and crop wastes. Agricultural systems can also be made more energy efficient. Some studies suggest that the application of organic farming techniques can reduce energy use by more than 40 percent. ...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 Energy, Respiration & the Environment 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 Energy, Respiration & the Environment essays

  1. Principles of Farm Animal Husbandry - Intensive and Extensive Farming

    Weaner and Rearing Pigs - The same regulations state the minimum unobstructed floor area available to each weaner and rearing pig should be at least - (5) The above picture shows the colleges pigs in first stage. Weaners and rearer pigs should have adequate space in order to exercise, feed

  2. Research Problem - Maintaining the habitat of the capybara and breeding them for meat

    Capybara meat is similar to richer meats such as chicken and pork. The Europeans who discovered this submitted a petition to the Church. The semi-aquatic capybara spends most of its day in the water, so they argued that it should be considered a fish (see left http://www.earlham.edu/~martilu/capypicinh2o.gif ).

  1. chemistry of renewable resources

    would be needed devoted to growth of plants for fuels- the whole of Europe covered with oil seed rape would not produce RME to meet our needs. 5 Usually, not all of the plant (biomass) is converted to fuel. There is considerable waste, but we can use these products as animal food, for instance alcohol and "waste" yeast.

  2. formation, extraction and separation of the crude oil.

    Heptane E (J) =5� 4.2 � (51-23) =5 � 4.2 � 28 = 588 (J) 1 minute Hexane E (J) = 5 � 4.2 � (96-22) =5 � 4.2 � 74 = 1554 (J) 1 minute Pentane E (J) = 5 � 4.2 � (99-29) = 5 � 4.2 � 70 =1365 (J)

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