Impacts or Side effects of Modern Agriculture

A lot of modern tools, techniques and practices have been implemented in the area of agriculture. And of course it has helped farmers to improve the production. But, there are many side effects for these modern practices. Read the article to know the impacts of modern agriculture techniques.

Present days, the overall productivity of agriculture has been increased by using fertilizers, pesticides, introduction of machinery, development of hybrid grains and increased knowledge about farm management practice. The major side effects of modern agriculture activities are as follows:

1) Impact related to high yielding varieties

The uses of high yielding varieties encourage the mono culture. In case of any attack by pathogen which totally deviate the crop. As a result,the bacteria levels increases in soils and water.

2)Fertilizer related problems

a)Micro nutrient imbalance
Essential macro nutrients used in the modern agriculture are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium which boost up the crop growth. But, the excessive use of fertilizers cause micro nutrient imbalance which is affecting the productivity of soil.

b)Nitrate pollution or Blue Baby syndrome
When nitrogen fertilizers are applied in the soil which contaminates with the ground water. This increases the nitrate contents in water more than 25 mg/lit. level which causes a serious health hazard called "Blue Baby Syndrome". This disease affects the infants to the maximum extend causing even death.

Excessive use of N and P fertilizers in the agricultural field is washed off by water runoff and reaches the water bodies causing over nourishment of the lakes.This process is known as Eutrophication.Due to eutrophication, large quantities of algae grow more rapidly by using the nutrients. This algal species quickly complete their life cycle and die which leads to increase in organic content in water bodies. These organic matters undergo decomposition by using dissolved oxygen present in the water. Due to decomposition of organic matter, the dissolved oxygen content decreases in water bodies which is essential for aquatic fauna. Thus, due to excessive use of fertilizer in the agricultural fields, the lake ecosystem gets degraded.

3) Pesticide Related Problems

Various pesticides used in agriculture are Sulphur, arsenic, lead or mercury,DDT and other synthetic pesticides. Although these pesticides have gone a lone way in protecting the crops from pests and disease, they also create a number of side effects which are discussed as follows:

i) Non targeted species are eliminated by pesticides use.

ii) Some pesticides are not easily biodegraded in the environment. These pesticides may persist in the tissue of plants and animals or in sediments then re-enter the food web.

iii) Many pesticides have environmental effects beyond their targeted use.

Eg: DDT.

It is a fat soluble compound which didn't readily decompose in the environment and consumed by animals. It is concentrated and stored in the fat of animals. Then it could be magnified and become transferred through food chain. The process of accumulation of pesticides in cells of animals is known
as biological amplification.

iv) Irrigated water from pesticide contaminated source may evaporate and spread the toxic pesticide vapours in the atmosphere.

v)Herbicides are hazardous soil pollutants which can effect the soil texture and damage the ecosystem. Organometallic phosphates may affect muscular disabilities. Excessive use of synthetic pesticides may lead to deforestation of forests and adverse effect on animals and plants.

vi)Contaminated soil act as potential carrier for pathogenic bacteria and other dangerous organisms that may dangerous to human health.

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