…[Since the mid-20th century], farm sizes have risen significantly… [T]his large size that is often criticized… in the belief that large farms put profit ahead of soil and animal health.
But increased size has advantages, especially better opportunities to invest in new technologies… Buying a $400,000 combine that gives farmers detailed information on the variations in crop yield… would never pay on just five acres of land; at 5,000 acres, it is a different story.
These technologies reduce the use of water and fertilizer and harm to the environment. Modern seed varieties, some of which were brought about by biotechnology, have allowed farmers to convert to low- and no-till cropping systems, and can encourage the adoption of nitrogen-fixing cover crops… to promote soil health.
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Improvements in agricultural technologies… have significantly lowered the use of energy and water, and greenhouse-gas emissions of food production per unit of output over time…
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Big problems face farmers and consumers. Climate change… growing world population, …and water quality are just a few.
…[I]nnovation, entrepreneurship and technology have important roles to play. So, too, do the real-life large farmers who grow the bulk of our food.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment