The Disadvantages Of Monoculture Farming Systems

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Many farmers plant only one crop in the same place year after year. This is what is known as monoculture crops. Supporters claim it is a more profitable way to farm than switching crops around each year. When a farmer grows only one type of crop he can specialize in that crop and purchase only the tools and machinery needed to deal with that crop. However, those against monocropping claim that it is very hard on the environment and actually less profitable than organic means of farming.

Planting the same crop in the same place each year zaps nutrients from the earth and leaves soil weak and unable to support healthy plant growth. Because soil structure and quality is so poor, farmers are forced to use chemical fertilizers to encourage plant growth and fruit production. These fertilizers, in turn, disrupt the natural makeup of the soil and contribute further to nutrient depletion.

Monocropping also creates the spread of pests and diseases, which must be treated with yet more chemicals. The effects of monocropping on the environment are severe when pesticides and fertilizers make their way into ground water or become airborne, creating pollution.

Disadvantages Of Monoculture Farming