• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    Freedom from discomfort - By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area;" Ensuring there is enough space for the animal to move freely and have fresh, clean bedding appropriate to that species, such as straw.

  2. Polar Bears conservation

    Sea world and the WWF use established USA & International breeding programs, which use proven scientific models and research. Blood lines are always monitored to so that the institutes can determine who is able to be bred. Breeding is often controlled by separation, which means putting two polar bears together, and sometimes bears are transported over seas.

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

    Despite the fact that the capybara is of no relation to the fish, the Roman Catholic Church agreed to call it a fish and ever since hundreds of people have eaten capybara during Lent. Now ranchers find it profitable to harvest and sell capybara meat in addition to their normal harvest of cattle and caiman during Lent.

  2. chemistry of renewable resources

    research and development of alternative sources of energy 3 There are environmental problems associated with extracting, transporting, and using fossil fuels. In particular, in the process of burning fossil fuels, carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is emitted, which raises concerns about the potential of human-induced global warming 4 Large areas

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