Monoculture means the cultivation of one plant in a large area in agriculture. Monoculture in most large-scale farming in the United States and in many parts of the world is normal. Monoculture has some short-term benefits, primarily in terms of economies of scale and automation of the production process (and thus reduction of labor costs). However, in the long term, the disadvantages of monoculture are predominant – this farming method has a number of negative impacts on the environment, and these negative effects are strengthened over the long term. This article highlights the advantages and disadvantages of such a unified approach to agriculture and points out that alternative, more sustainable, environmentally and economically viable alternatives are both higher in the long run.
Advantages and disadvantages of monoculture: what is the advantage?
Now it's obvious I'm not a fan or supporter of monoculture. But there are direct and overwhelming reasons for people to participate in this devastating practice. Before discussing why this practice is so damaging I think it is fruitful to first examine its benefits or benefits.
The main advantage of economies of scale, primarily through automation. In particular, labor costs in the United States are very high, so anything that can reduce the use of labor in agriculture is likely to result in cost savings. This is often true when automation reduces the yield per hectare. For example, when a crop is grown, it can often be harvested in different ways with different levels of automation. Greater automation of harvesting can result in higher waste, for example, cereals in the fields, but requires fewer workforce (for example, a person who drives a large machine that covers the soil very quickly, compared to smaller, slower machines or many people who produce it manually) can be better in cost-benefit analysis, even if it generates more waste.
Disadvantages of monoculture:
The most compelling disadvantage of monoculture management is that it can not be adapted . Wild ecosystems are diverse and wild plants and animals are diverse. The ecosystem has many different species, each adapted to a unique environment and having different strengths and weaknesses in response to changing circumstances. Likewise, the natural population of a plant or animal species exhibits genetic variability, and each plant or animal has slightly different properties. Furthermore, all the population and the ecosystem as a whole are constantly changing, adapting to changing environmental conditions and the conditions set by other populations and species.
Monoculture compensates for this diversity, destroys diversity and replaces at best one species and, in worst cases (as the US norms), a single set of genetically identical, essentially cloned, reproduced, genetically modified seed stocks contain.
Sensitivity to Pests:
The ecological landscape of monoculture is that genetically identical plants have a wide range of wild pests, including fungi, bacteria, insects and many other organisms. These pests each have a wild populations with their own biodiversity and their population is constantly changing and adapting to being able to digest crops or benefit from the presence of cultivated plants. However, monocultural plants do not change and are not able to adapt because they do not have genetic variability and, of course, are unable to reproduce. Plant pests and weeds are also adapted to plant areas, taking advantage of extra sunlight as most monocultures leave abundant light and do not fully utilize the sun's energy.
The only way to fight pests in this setup is to devote greater and greater energy and resources to chemical control, either by spraying pesticides, fungicides or bactericides, or by genetic engineering of plants for producing chemicals themselves. But without natural adaptation, pests eventually develop to withstand these defenses. The creation of monoculture is, by its very nature, condemned as it works against the natural ways of ecosystems.
The negative environmental impacts of monoculture:
As monoculture management requires increasing chemical inputt, negative environmental impacts are also increasing steadily. Although people often use safer chemicals, if they exist and use them at the lowest possible concentration, safe chemical substances may necessarily end. Many chemicals used in commercial agriculture are poisonous and / or carcinogenic or have other negative effects on humans. Even chemicals that are safe for human consumption or exposure can have a negative impact on the environment; A widely used herbicide, such as a widespread herbicide, is more poisonous to amphibians than humans.
Other Negative Effects of Monoculture:
Besides negative environmental impacts, monoculture also ruins our culture. Most of the monoculture and large-scale farming are responsible for the alienation of the Americans or their associated farming and the shift away from a farm where a large number of people are directly involved in farming in a society where people see food as an industrial product, which can be purchased in a store and does not know where it comes from.
In addition to its monoculture, it can help protect the environment, food industry and farming culture:
a wide-ranging monoculture is grateful to collapse. With gardening, you can learn more when you try to increase your own food, even if you have only a small town courtyard, or even an interior or a veranda or balcony, if you do not have a yard. Farmers' markets can also be traced to locally sourced foods and can stimulate small-scale local production through diversified farming methods using their money to support these farmers. As soon as we return to diversified agriculture, we are more and more connected to our food and help protect our environment.
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