Modern Agriculture

Topics: Agriculture, Water, Photosynthesis Pages: 1 (326 words) Published: November 25, 2006
Agricultural technology in the United States is responsible for producing abundant levels of food,but is also the source of many inconveniences.One example of this is the runoff of agricultural chemicals,which causes high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in many lakes and rivers.when the excess nutrients applied to the land in the form of fertilizers find their way into the water,blooms,or overabundant growth of algae and other aquatic plants ,result.The algal blooms at the water surface affect the photosynthesis process of the submerged plants by blocking their sunlight,causing them to die.This problem is compounded when the oxygen levels drop,and organisms which flourish in oxygen starved environments release hydrogen sulfide and methane,which are toxic to fish and other aquatic life.The loss of species of fish and other animals,degrades and simplifies the ecosystem,making it more vulnerable to further destruction. technological advances in animal husbandry have produced colossal outputs of food products at lower costs,but also causing many devastating side effects.The large,concentrated animal populations in the Unite States produce around one hundred and sixty million tons of fecal waste per year.Sixty percent of that manure is spread directly onto the crop land ,causing the nitrogen levels in the soil to exceed the absorpitive capacity of the crops,then polluting the nearby rivers ,lakes ,ground water and land.The manure lagoons also emit toxic chemicals that can result in many human health problems ,such as respiratory disease,skin rashes,and headaches.The fecal waste also produce an odor,dust ,and fly problem for the people inhabiting the local 1993 a pathogen discovered in Milwaukee's drinking water was responsible for making 400,000 people sick and led to the deaths of one hundred people;the suspected cause was dairy manure. It is true modern agriculture has many benefits,but those benefits could be outweighed by its long term negative...
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