With the vastly increased productivity of today's farmer comes added responsibility to ensure the environment is protected and the production is sustainable.
Agricultural practices can be very damaging. They contaminate rivers and streams, resulting in fish kills, reduced biodiversity, increased turbidity, eutrophication, algal blooms and more problems that can impact human and animal health. Agriculture is also a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
However, one should not overlook its many positive environmental benefits. Agricultural practices that conserve soil and increase productivity while improving soil quality also increase the amount of carbon-rich organic matter in soils, thereby providing a global depository for CO2 drawn from the atmosphere by growing plants. The same farming practices that promote soil conservation also decrease the amount of CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere. (Source: EPA / Photo: Flickr)