Industrial farming and ranching get a bad rap for the damage they cause to the earth. However, as society shifts toward prioritizing eco-friendly initiatives, many agricultural experts are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Professionals need to be able to identify problem areas to find practical solutions. Here are some serious effects of large-scale agriculture on the environment.
Consumes Large Amounts of Energy
One huge critique of the agriculture industry is its reliance on unsustainable energy sources. Most commercial farms and ranches depend on fossil fuels and electricity to power their heavy machinery and tools, often resulting in energy waste. However, some professionals are making necessary changes to their day-to-day work by switching to renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power.
Depletes Nutrients From Soil
Most industrial farmers focus on a select group of cash crops that pull the most profit. While this technique works to keep the industry moving, it does little to increase crop diversity. Overfarming strips soil of its natural nutrients, and repeatedly harvesting the same produce doesn’t help the situation. However, industry leaders are starting to use technology that analyses soil makeup so farmers can make wise decisions that won’t cause as much harm.
Emits Greenhouse Gases
We’ve already determined that commercial agriculture relies on nonrenewable resources too heavily. In addition to adding to energy waste, burning fossil fuels for power leads to the emission of dangerous greenhouse gasses. This is just one of the devastating effects of large-scale agriculture on the environment. The good news is that the industry is taking steps to move away from fossil fuels through innovative technology and science.
Pollutes Water Sources
Industrial farming and ranching create a lot of waste, and some professionals don’t discard it correctly. The impacts of improper waste disposal on the environment can be catastrophic. Waste can pollute water sources vital to the health of nearby communities. Contaminated water leads to a plethora of health concerns in nearby animals and humans, not to mention the harm it does to land and larger bodies of water. The industry as a whole would benefit from the consistent use of waste disposal companies that specialize in this field.
Large-scale agriculture isn’t going anywhere, so industry leaders need to do their part in creating more eco-friendly initiatives. While making changes might seem intimidating or impossible, they’re necessary to ensure the health of our world and the people who inhabit it.