Intensive farming is one of the most widely used techniques by agricultural producers that aim to get the maximum revenue and productivity out of a small portion of land. The goal is to get the most output per area by using high input strategies, the reason for this being, among others, the increasing demand for cheap food and the prevention of production shortages.
Intensive farming is commonly applied on crops and it’s made possible thanks to the increased use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, tools that allow farmers to get more from the land. Although it’s also commonly used for livestock raising techniques, the focus of this blog post is to discuss the agricultural implications only.
Pros and cons of Intensive Farming
- Intensive farming has made prices more affordable and has also helped meet the increasing demand for food.
- It’s possible to switch from manual labor to automation, using machines that do the bulk of the work.
- There are certain regulations and rules on place by the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) which are aimed to help farmers produce healthier and safer products.
- Productivity is increased but requires less land at the same time.
- Overall, it’s more efficient since farmers are able to produce more food per unit than the required labor, land and other inputs.
- For intensive farming to be possible there is a need to use different kinds of chemical products like fertilizers and pesticides that can be harmful to our health when we consume the food.
- Intensive farming is harmful to the environment in many ways.
- In some cases, intensive farming is associated with farmers having more production that their capacity allows them to, which can bring a wide range of complications.
- Pesticide usage can harm crops by contamination and by killing insects and other organisms that are beneficial.
- Traditional farmers are not able to compete with producers that have adopted intensive farming.
The topic of intensive farming is very controversial. While we can’t deny that such practices have been helpful to provide people with cheaper food and to meet the increasing demand of a world population that multiplies everyday, we can’t ignore the costs that need to be paid in order to accomplish this. Can a balance between healthier, more humane practices and a higher crop production be reached?
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