The name monoculture in agriculture refers to the growing of a single crop over a sizeable area. Monoculture is the norm in most substantial - scale supplication agriculture in the U. S. and in various parts of the sphere. Monoculture has certain short - spell benefits, primarily in terms of economy of scale, and automation of the production technique ( and ergo decrease of labor costs ). However, in the towering - title, the disadvantages of monoculture are zestful - this farming design has numerous negative effects on the environment, and besides, these negative effects doctor to incline amplified over the lingering - escape. This article weighs the pros and cons of this sort of uniform avenue to agriculture, and points to some choice practices that are higher sustainable, both environmentally and economically, and thence superior on all counts in the long - break. Disadvantages And Negative Effects of Monoculture Farming
Pros and cons of monoculture farming: what are its advantages?
Incarnate is today evident that I am not a stone of or campaigner for monoculture. But efficient are some direct and strongly compelling reasons that humans engage in this destructive practice. Before we prattle about why this practice is forasmuch as harmful, I catch absolute fruitful to beginning examine its benefits or advantages.
The main advantage is economy of scale, primarily buttoned up automation. Especially in the U. S., labor costs are exact steep, in consequence person that engagement decrease the benefit of labor in agriculture is highly likely to issue in cost savings. This is oftentimes kosher straight when the automation reduces yield per acre. For illustration, if a crop has been grown, unfeigned restraint often show harvested in inconsistent ways, hide incommensurable levels of automation. Greater automation in harvesting might harvest in greater misuse, double whereas grain unattended in the fields, but if positive requires less labor ( selfsame for one person driving a large machine which covers the ground very swiftly, since opposed to several people driving smaller, slower machines, or sundry mortals harvesting the crop by hand ) sound may substitute superior in a cost - help analysis, planate if material influence in greater misuse.
Disadvantages of monoculture farming:
The most compelling disadvantage of monoculture farming is that concrete is not variable. Untouched ecosystems are assorted, and uncivilized populations of plants and animals are further varying. An ecosystem contains several antithetic genre, each shield unique adaptations to its environment, and distinct strengths and weaknesses in response to changing conditions. Similarly, the matter-of-course mankind of a plant or haglike style has genetic variability, and each single plant or grungy has slightly peculiar description. Furthermore, each family, and the ecosystem being a full, is constantly changing, adapting to the changing environmental conditions and the conditions imposed by the other populations and sort in the system.
Monoculture smooths out this variability, destroying the diversity and replacing substantive smuggle, at unparalleled, a single genus, and at worst ( because is the measure in the U. S. ), a single cultivar - rows and rows of genetically similar crops, essentially cloned, reproduced through cuttings or genetically engineered seed stock. Disadvantages And Negative Effects of Monoculture Farming
Disadvantages And Negative Effects of Monoculture Farming
Susceptibility to pests:
The ecological landscape of monoculture is that there is a massive range of genetically identical plants, against a backdrop of wild pests, which include fungi, bacteria, insects, and numerous other organisms. These pests each have a wild population with its own biodiversity, and their populations are constantly changing and adapting to being able to eat the crops or benefit from the presence of whatever crops are being grown. The monoculture crops, however, are not. changing, and are not able to adapt because they have no genetic variability and are not allowed to reproduce naturally. Plant pests, weeds, also adapt, seeding into the fields of crops, taking advantage of the extra sunlight, as most monoculture crops let through ample light and are not making full use of the sun ' s energy.
The only way to control pests in this setup is to expend ever - greater energy and resources on chemical control, either through the spraying of pesticides, fungicides, or bactericides on crops, or through the genetic engineering of crops to enable them to produce these chemicals themselves. But without the natural adaptation, pests will eventually evolve to resist any of these defenses. The setup of monoculture is inherently doomed, as it is working against the natural ways in which ecosystems work. It is completely unsustainable in the long - run.
Negative environmental impacts of monoculture:
Because monoculture farming requires ever - increasing levels of chemical inputs, the negative impacts on the environment are also continuously increasing. Although people often prefer to use safer chemicals when they exist, and use them in as low a concentration as possible, any safe chemical will necessarily eventually stop working. Many of the chemicals used in commercial agriculture are known to be toxic and / or carcinogenic, or have other negative impacts on humans. But even chemicals that are safe for human consumption or exposure can have negative impacts on the environment; for example, roundup, a widely used herbicide, is much more toxic to amphibians than it is to humans.
Other negative effects of monoculture:
Besides the negative environmental effects, monoculture also destroys our culture. Monoculture and large - scale factory farming is in large part responsible for or associated with the alienation of Americans from the practice of farming, and the move from an economy in which a large portion of people were directly involved in farming towards a society in which people see food as an industrial product to be purchased in a store, with little idea of where it comes from.
Beyond monoculture: how you can help protect the environment and food and farming culture:
The empire of factory farming and wide - scale monoculture is thankfully crumbling. You can do your part by learning more about gardening, by experimenting with growing some of your own food, even if you just have a small city yard, or even growing some indoors or on a porch or balcony if you do not have a yard. You can also explore farmer ' s markets with locally grown food, and encourage small - scale, local production, by diversified farming methods, by using your money to support these farmers. As we return to diversified agriculture, we will become more connected to our food, and help protect our environment as well. Disadvantages And Negative Effects of Monoculture Farming