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This is part 1 of a mini-series of articles on the problems of current agriculture.mens club 24

The human population in the world never ceases its steady increase upwards, which is why it’s no surprise that it’s projected there will be 9 billion people on the planet in just 40 years. There are many pressing matters in the agricultural field that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later, especially when taking the population of the world into consideration. The first item to add to the itinerary, before addressing other agriculture issues, is the fact that there are such high usage levels of chemicals for fungicides, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides – really, any chemicals sprayed on the food that people are supposed to later eat. (Grace Communications Foundation)

It’s obvious that there are many benefits to using pesticides on crops, because otherwise the world wouldn’t be saturating the food we eat in them. However, the hazards that pesticides have to offer far outweigh any benefits they could possible offer to the crops. A field of crops with a pest problem is a much better alternative to a field of crops dusted with chemicals that are extremely harmful and provide unwanted side effects to people and animals alike. (Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University)

Not only is there a hazardous effect to all human health that comes in contact with the harmful pesticides uses to treat most crops, but those particular chemicals are also harmful to the environment that they sit in. Pesticides contaminate turf, soil, water, and any vegetation that it comes into contact with. It is a disease that slowly kills off the beauty of a land, leaving in its place a withered husk of unhealthy crops and dying land. (Cornell University)

A problem that’s happening worldwide because of harmful pesticides is groundwater pollution. Over 140 various pesticides along with over 20 transformation products have been found polluting ground water areas. Pollution detection has been found in 43 states in the US, and an alarming 58% of drinking water samples that were drawn from the hand pumps and wells throughout India were found polluted as well. (National Institute of Health)

Not only do the pesticides seep into the groundwater, but they also seep into the soil. Even though most of the pesticides that originally created this problem are no longer sold on the market, the residue of their toxic stay remains present. The populations of microorganisms that provided beneficial soil decline when pesticides are sprayed on the area. Over time, the microorganisms are no longer able to provide the necessary nutrients the soil needs, and the soil dies completely. (Food Alliance)

Pesticides are harmful to just about everywhere they touch – including the very air that it was sprayed into before it reached the crops. It contaminates the air, the soil, and any non-target vegetation within the vicinity. What many may not realize is that there is a certain level of drift with any sort of equipment that would be used to spray pesticides across crops. In fact, as much as 2-25% of the chemical that’s applied to the crops drifts a distance of just a few yards to as far as a few hundred miles. This can substantially effect a massive portion of land, contaminating all of the non-targeted plants and vegetation, soil, air, and water. (L.E.A.F.)

The chemicals used for current agriculture are overwhelmingly harmful to the environment it’s presented to. Not only do pesticides contaminate non-targeted plants outside of the crop range – for as far as a few hundred miles – but by contaminating the non-targeted plants, the animals and insects that ingest these plants are also contaminated and potentially harmed. Bees, specifically, are slowly dying because of this very problem. It’s absolutely vital that current agriculture alters the way that crops are taken care of with pesticides, as the areas contaminated and effected will only spread out more and more as the problem persists.

 

Guess how we can solve these problems?