Agriculture has been a part of man’s life ever since it was discovered that we could grow the food that we consume from one place and not just leave every time our resources were utilized. As science and technology progress together with agriculture, we came to realize that we could actually manipulate things like environment, amount of water, the type of soil, etc. in order to gain more crops.
The United States, as one of the top developed countries in the world, developed several techniques to which will give the highest benefit without harming our environment. These include crop rotation, which is used to preserve the soil fertility; biotechnology, which manipulates genes of certain crops to improve the quality and quantity of the products; and conservation tillage, which is used to avoid soil erosion.
Crop rotation had been used in ancient times and because of technology, it was enhanced further to be more environmentally friendly. Continuous cropping tends to rob the nutrient that are usually present in the soil that helps the crops grow, that is why crop rotation is preferred (Baldwin, 2006). If the soil fertility is monitored, the safety of the production is guaranteed and so its quality. One of the most popular biotechnology crops is the Bt-corn, a genetically modified organism (GMO) injected with the Bt delta endotoxin in order to kill off parasites (Bessin, 2004). This protein attacks the digestive system of the insects and is not effective to humans and other mammals due to it selectivity. With this, the number of destroyed crops was reduced to the minimum. Conservation tillage is the act of leaving the crop residue to cover at least 30% of the field before and after planting the next (Minnesota Department of Agriculture, n.d.). This does not only aid to prevent soil erosion but also helps in the added organic matter to enhance the soil from the decomposed residue.
In general, the methods used by the United States to increase food production are safe for both the environment and human consumption. There are still issues regarding the use of biotechnology to produce GMOs but studies show that they are still safe to humans. In conclusion, modern agriculture is effective and efficient in terms of food production and keeping the food and the environment safe.
Baldwin, K. (2006). Crop Rotations on Organic Farms. Organic Production. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. 3-5, 9-10. http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu/resources/organicproductionguide/croprotationsfinaljan09.pdf
Bessin, R. (2004, January). Bt-Corn: What it is and how it works. UK Entomology. Retrieved from http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef130.asp
Minnesota Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Conservation Practices | Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide. Retrieved from http://www.mda.state.mn.us/protecting/conservation/practices/constillage.aspx