There are multiple levels to the harmful effects of modern agriculture that must be addressed. For starters, this method of farming results in a monoculture, or a condition in which only one crop is grown in a particular region. It is an issue since it would never develop in an organic environment, and it exposes the crops to disease and destructive insects.
In addition, it is due to the lack of a diverse plant community in the area to resist such circumstances. The second issue that needs to be addressed is nutrient recycling. This process results in a nutritional loss rather than allowing the plant to decay naturally and return the nutrients to the land.
The depletion has become increasingly familiar with the invention and widespread use of herbicides and pesticides like Glyphosate. Modern farmers have been able to generate flawless crops thanks to this powerful insecticide and GMO seeds. However, the widespread use of pesticides has resulted in a 347 percent increase in significant human health problems such as cancer, bone abnormalities, heart disease, and obesity. These worrisome data make us concerned about human health and the repercussions for our favorite animals.
Grazing of livestock
Grassland for cattle and other animals takes up a large portion of agricultural land. Hundreds of thousands of acres are set aside for this purpose in the western United States, including both government-controlled and privately owned grazing lands—more than any other land use. As a result, agricultural cattle provide significant global emissions, mainly methane. Furthermore, overgrazing is a big issue and one of the effects of modern agriculturein terms of environmental sustainability.
From World War Two to the present, synthetic nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers have been at the center of industrialized farming. As a result, modern agriculture has become overly reliant on chemical inputs, which has expanded the number of people that the nation’s farms can feed.
They’re especially good at growing corn, wheat, and rice, and they’re substantially to blame for cereal cultivation’s spectacular development in recent decades. As a result, China has surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest producer of nitrogen fertilizers, owing to its fast-rising population.
Toxic algae and nutrient contamination
Toxic algae blooms are a result of nutrient contamination in lakes in our country and elsewhere. Excessive levels of organic debris decompose in aquatic settings, causing oxygen deprivation and the creation of “dead zones” where nothing can exist. It happens regularly. Nitrogen buildup in water and on land poses a threat to biodiversity, native plant species, and natural environments. Furthermore, applying fertilizer to soil causes the creation and emission of nitrous oxide, one of the most destructive greenhouse gases.
Depletion of the pasture land
In some areas, pasture land is depleted to the point where grasslands are unable to recover. Native vegetation’s root systems can be severely harmed, resulting in the extinction of the species. Overgrazing and fecal wastes can contaminate or jeopardize water sources along streambeds and other riparian areas where cattle congregate.
Trampling the soil by cattle and many other large pastured animals can cause soil damage. Due to nutrient runoff, bare, compacted terrain can cause soil erosion and degradation of topsoil quality. These and other effects have the potential to disrupt a wide range of delicate ecosystems including wildlife habitats.
Whereas these chemicals had helped to double the level of food production, they also have contributed to a massive increase in reactive nitrogen levels in the environment, maybe as much as 600 percent. The once-beneficial nutrients have become toxins due to high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. Approximately half of the nitrogen in synthetic fertilizers escapes from the fields where it is used, contaminating the soil, air, water, and rainfall.