SEP 27, 2017 8:58 AM PDT

Are Modern Farming Methods Sustainable?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Farming is a repetitive process of plowing land, placing seeds, watering the seeds, fertilizing the planted seeds, and harvesting the results. Our species has used farming for food for thousands of years, and will likely continue doing so. On the other hand, is the process "broken?"

It seems like we put more resources into farming today than we did thousands of years ago. What used to controlled by human resources has turned into machines doing the work for us, and with the sheer amount of farming we do today to keep up with the growing human population, there are real concerns that the Earth can't keep up.

Many of our farming supplies come from the Earth itself, such as phosphorous, soil, and water. On the other hand, these resources don't replenish as quickly as we deplete them. Freshwater aquifers are draining, underground phosphorous levels are dropping, and we're using up fertile soil as much as 50 times faster than it forms naturally.

At some point, we'll have to replace our farming methods with something more sustainable. Farmers are already experimenting with new technologies to increase the sustainability of agricultural techniques, but at some point, even these will struggle to keep up with the growing human population.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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