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Environmental Issues: Intensive Farming


Environmental issues in most cases arise from activities in the natural environment by human beings. These human activities are also referred to as anthropogenic a Greek word that means man-made. They are the wastes that are produced as by-products in the process of practicing helpful human activities. Those wastes are either in chemical form or in biological form (Laura 185). They are usually in various forms which include; in the agricultural sector such as intensive farming and overgrazing among others, industries such as the release of harmful gasses, mining, and construction which involves deforestation in the process to obtain materials and space among others. They are very many environmental issues and have varied effects on the environment as well as on the human beings living in the natural environment. This essay will focus on intensive farming as an environmental issue.

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Intensive Farming

Intensive farming is the opposite of sustainable agriculture which emphasizes minimal use of inputs such as machinery, agricultural chemicals, and labor with the aim of ecological health. Intensive farming as an issue involves factors such as overgrazing, inappropriate methods during the preparation of land for farming for example slashing of bushes and burning the land as it destroys the microorganisms as well as the nutrients. Mono-cropping for a long time overuses some nutrients and kills the rest, irrigation although seems to be helpful, nutrients are eroded and also they sink in deep soils where the roots cannot reach (Laura 195). The use of chemicals on the land destroys it in the long run and finally, there is also an effect on the environment in the process of meat production.

How It Evolved

With globalization, new technologies have come up to maximize production. This has been both an advantage and a disadvantage. In crop farming, intensive farming is caused by overuse of machines in the preparation of land and throughout the crop growing period, chemicals aimed at increasing production through add of nutrients and elimination of pesticides and other unwanted organisms, and excess use of irrigation (Stokstad and Gretchen 543). This method although looked at as a way of increasing productivity, it has been discovered that they are short-lived and also have many other harmful effects on the natural environment such as increasing the rate of erosion due to over-cultivation, water that goes back to the rivers is already poisoned, and waterlogging sometimes happens.

In animal farming, intensive cultivation means having so many animals on a small or limited piece of land. A large number would require food and the other requirements among them are a space for relaxation and to move about (Goldman 267). In modern times especially in places like the USA, this form of animal farming is highly practiced as referred to as factory farming. Animal welfare is neglected and their output is a low level of quality products.

Benefits of Intensive Farming

Intensive farming has some advantages which include; increased production per the individual output, land output, and financially more income is received. Secondly, due to high productivity, food becomes available hence the food prices go down which benefits those specializing in other areas (Crutzen and Stoermer 18). Since only a small piece of land is utilized, a lot of land is preserved for ecosystems such as forests. Livestock is raised in the limited area helps in capturing methane gas which is produced in the wastes of animals which is then used to produce energy hence preservation of overexploitation of other areas like the fossils which are used in the production of oil.

Negative Effects of Intensive Farming

On the other hand, there are many disadvantages of intensive cultivation which include; destruction of homes for wild organisms, the chemicals that are poured into the rivers changing the natural trends in the water bodies which is supported by the new trend in the Gulf of Mexico causing hypoxic condition it is in. also the chemicals in the farms are said to kill some of the important living things in the soil which help in aeration of the soil. If there is no control taken, then it will lead to desertification due to the poisoning of land. People who work on the farms also have health issues attributed to exposure to the chemicals (Jasmit 1). Some farm products also store some of these chemicals which are not healthy for human and animal consumers. Overuse of mechanization and grazing too many animals on a limited piece of land leads to low production as a result of the soil losing texture hence improper aeration. It may also lead to soil erosion causing physical hazards due to gullies and removal of the top nutritious layer.

Political Ramifications

Intensive farming which has increased food production has led to several social, economic, and political factors and changes in policies. We have had the introduction of NAFTA and the EU which aid in the marketing of agricultural products (Yanitsky 163). This is more a case of political organization as it involves the signing of treaties between nations. There are however some environmentalists who have been criticizing this method of production. Their arguments are ignored by the government of the various nations due to the economic contribution they have at the moment. Overexploitation of forests and other agricultural areas is condemned but it is more of an illusion than a reality in the minds of many. Genetically modified crops have been encouraged by the government due to the short-term goals it solves, however, they have been causing more harm and destroying the natural breeding methods which ensured quality production other than quantity (Carin 1). Governments have failed in implementing policies that will preserve the natural environment due to political pressures within the nations and a lack of determination by most leaders.

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With the trend, there is a risk in the future. If this is not controlled, the production of agricultural products is threatened which means that the world will suffer food shortage. Intensive farming is good though a lot of control measures should be employed. People should be educated on the farming methods that will increase productivity as long as human beings live by learning to preserve natural habitats and the natural composition of the soil.

Works Cited

Carin, Elizabeth.China’s Environmental Challenge: Political, Social and Economic Implications. 2003. Web.

Crutzen, Paul and Stoermer Eugene. “The ‘Anthropocene’” in International Geosphere- Biosphere Programme Newsletter 41 (2000): 17-18. Print.

Goldman, Marshall. Environmental Pollution in the Soviet Union: The Spoils of Progress. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. Print.

Laura, Henry. “Two Paths to a Greener Future: Environmentalism and Civil Society Development in Russia.” Demokratizatsiya 10.2 (2002): 184 – 206. Print.

Jasmit Singh. “Our Roots on the North American Soil.” Monthly journal 4 (2002).

Stokstad, Erik and Gretchen Vogel. “AGRIBIOTECHNOLOGY:Mixed Message Could Prove Costly for GM.” Journal 302.5645 (2003): 542 – 543. Print.

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Yanitsky, Oleg. “The Environmental Movement in a Hostile Context: The Case of Russia.” International Sociology 14.2 (1999): 157 – 172. Print.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Environmental Issues: Intensive Farming." December 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Environmental Issues: Intensive Farming." December 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Environmental Issues: Intensive Farming." December 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Environmental Issues: Intensive Farming'. 1 December.

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