Impact of Agriculture (quality of life and the environment)

Like any other thing in life there are advantages and disadvantages while doing agriculture also. Conservation agriculture is usually a victorious situation for both the farmer and the environment. Many of the people who are involved in agriculture realise the advantages of the industry quite lat. Conservation agriculture needs a new way of thinking about production and this gives the farmers better yield with less labour, less water and fewer chemical fertilizers. People in various walks of life like farmers, scientists, researchers and extensionists are realising the importance of conservation agriculture now and popularising it in a big all over the world.

Protects the Soil

Agriculture if done in a proper way improves soil structure and protects the soil against erosion and nutrient losses. It provides a permanent soil cover and minimises soil disturbance. If the agriculture is conservation agriculture it enhances the soil organic matter levels and nutrient availability by growing green manure and returns the residues back to the soil. The cultivable land under the agriculture will be more productive for longer period of time than the land which is not used for agriculture. Conservation agriculture provides an environment which is friendly and it uses the resources more efficiently than conventional agriculture.

Agriculture as such has increased the amount of food for the human beings but it has also created a negative effect on the environment. Large farms may be able to feed the world but it can wreck the local ecosystems through clear cutting and runoff. It releases methane, ammonia and other dangerous toxic chemicals into the environment. For the sake of agriculture the natural flora and fauna of the area will be destroyed or removed. The local habitat will be destroyed and there can be major change in the ecological balance. Rainforests which plays a major role in the climate of a place will be destroyed for the expansion of agricultural operations.

Creates Soil Erosion

There will be a lot of old growth plants and trees which will be removed for agricultural purposes and this creates soil erosion and it removes nutrients from the soil and increases flooding. Over farming of the land and clearing of natural plant cover will create dust storms which lead to heavy damages to property and lives. Runoff from farming operation includes toxic substances and the common pollutants leftovers are pesticides and ammonia. These toxic substances will enter the water table and destroy the natural water cycle.

Apart from the agriculture, the livestock farms can be a huge source of methane and other pollutants due to the animal waste and the runoff enters the lakes and streams and pollutes the water. It can activate the dangerous algae blooms and kill the fish and other wildlife around the water body. Natural cycles get disturbed when established plant communities are destroyed. There will be no carbon moving from the atmosphere into the biomass and soil and this results in water runoffs. There will be decrease in infiltration and aquifer recharge. The destruction which happens for agriculture will cause decline in wildlife numbers and diversity because the species will have to compete for lesser and lower quality resources.

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