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Modern Agriculture and Environmental Conservation

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Is modern agriculture compatible with environmental conservation? Prior to the Second World War, the agricultural systems in many places were reliant on recycling organic matter, rainfall patterns and internal resources. The yields were stable but ordinary and most labour was done by the family. They also had no specialized equipment1. At the end of this war, the modernisation of agriculture advanced with the inventions of farm machines such as the thresher and the cultivator, as well as the increase in use of fertilisers and pesticides2. Today, the modern agriculture provides the food for at least more than 6 billion people around the world and uses almost 40% of the world's land3. ...read more.


Furthermore, the cutback on land is due to irrigation. Without irrigating the land, it is said that at least 1.3 billion acres of land would be needed to make up for the lost production. Pest control systems also increased productivity. An estimated 70% of the world's produce might be lost in the lack of pesticides, whereas with pest controls only 40% is lost4. Moreover, fertilisers have boosted crop yields meetings demands of the world's population. On the other hand, some people would believe that the modern agriculture has brought various environmental problems. ...read more.


Consequently, the use of these technologies amplifies the society's dependence on fossil fuel, thus increasing the greenhouse gas accumulation, air pollution and acidification. In conclusion, I believe that even though the modern agriculture causes some environmental problems, it has provided food to the world's population. Without the changes in technologies and different techniques in farming, the yields produced would not be able to meet the demand of the people. However, modern agriculture has brought serious problems and I believe that these conflicts with the environmental conservation. These problems would potentially affect the environment in the long-term such as global warming. [1] http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/~agroeco3/modern_agriculture.html [2] http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0856513.html [3] http://www.uni-hamburg.de/Wiss/FB/15/Sustainability/schneider/agenv/modernagr.ppt [4] http://www.igreens.org.uk/modern_farming.htm [5] Boyle, M., and Senior, K. (2002) Collins Advanced Science: Biology (2nd ed.) HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd. [6] http://www.lenntech.com/eutrophication-water-bodies/eutrophication-effects.htm ...read more.

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