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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357882

Title: Negative impacts on the environment and people from simplification of crop and livestock production

item Kronberg, Scott
item RYSCHAWY, JULIE - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2018
Publication Date: 1/5/2019
Citation: Kronberg, S.L., Ryschawy, R. 2019. Negative impacts on the environment and people from simplification of crop and livestock production. In: Lemaire, G., Carvalho, P. C. F., Kronberg, S., Recous, S., editors. Agroecosystem diversity: reconciling contemporary agriculture and environmental quality. London, UK: Academic Press. p. 247-256

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Many negative impacts on our environment and us are partly attributable to contemporary simplified, intensive agriculture, which frequently and problematically functions within national economic systems where social and environmental effects are not reflected in market values. Specialization of farms and farming regions have increased many environmental problems including greater reductions in air and water quality, less availability of water, more soil degradation and more biodiversity losses. Greater negative effects on our environment are probably due to interlinkages among specialization, intensification and enlargement of farms driven by industrialization and globalization of markets and may have been exacerbated by public policies such as the Common Agriculture Policy in the European Union and national farm legislation in the United States such as the federal crop insurance program. This approach to farming has also created concerns about food quality and human health. Potential negative effects on people include: unhealthful working conditions in concentrated animal feeding operations, excessive exposure to pesticides, development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, increasing exposure to steroid hormones associated with exogenous steroid growth promoters for livestock, increasing the risk of pandemic avian and swine influenza, increasing exposure to excessive levels of nitrates in drinking water, decreasing micro-nutrient availability in foods as well as reduced availability of affordable healthful foods such as fruits and vegetables, and significant stress on farming families.