Conventional farming is modern industrial agriculture. It’s the main method that ends up producing the vegetation and meat products that we typically eat. This farming method relies on the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, chemical-based species invasion control and genetically modified organisms. The industrial way of farming is what produces tons of food every year, but a high output of food doesn’t mean detractors have criticisms.
In the modern world, conventional farming is considered a necessity for various reasons. But not all parties think so—after all, organic farming is yet again gaining traction throughout the world. In this article, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of conventional farming.
List of Pros of Conventional Farming
The use of conventional farming is widespread throughout the world, whether practiced with tried and true methods or industrial level production processes. In today’s world, conventional farming is utilized in different ways to yield different, yet plentiful results. Let’s examine some of the pros of conventional farming.
1. The cost of food production is significantly low.
Food production is a very important aspect of the modern world. This aspect is why conventional farming is important to the world’s various systems. One of the reasons why conventional farming is preferred over more holistic methods is its low costs.
Conventional farming is known to produce larger quantities of food than other methods for several reasons. To start, the system is built to support such a process because the modern world is always in need of vast quantities of food. Modern conventional farming practices maximize the quantity of food they can produce, while producing such food without expending too many resources or human labor.
In addition, the mass production stemming from conventional farming enables food prices to remain at affordable prices for consumers. In contrast, food produced from organic farming tend to cost more than conventionally produced food items.
2. The cost of conventional farming is low and lucrative.
Farming is considered relatively lucrative as an industry, partly because of the profit margins gained from food production. Many of the concessions that the industry takes allows farmers to cut costs on some of their production processes and produce more as a result.
The location where a farm might operate, big or small, also plays a role in the costs. Lucrative areas may allow farmers to produce more at little cost and without impacting the surrounding land. The proximity of potential workers may also reduce costs for workers and the farms who employ them.
3. Conventional farming offers lots of job opportunities.
Farming can be considered one of the world’s oldest occupations. Farms, especially industrial farms, require a lot of labor to run efficiently on a regular basis. Due to this, farm-related job opportunities tend to be plentiful, particularly during times of the year or specific areas in the world.
While these job opportunities aren’t always available, they do tend to provide steady work during specific parts of the year. People who live in farm-friendly areas tend to look for farm-related work due to their close proximity to their potential workplace.
List of Cons of Conventional Farming
Alternative methods, such as organic farming, have made conventional farming look somewhat unsustainable in the distant future. Not only that, there are other reasons why many see disadvantages with conventional farming. Let’s examine some of those cons.
1. Conventional farming may present health concerns for people and animals.
The health concerns of conventional farming is widely debated among many in and looking into the industry. The production processes involved in this widespread method of farming may have harmful effects on people and animals.
Conventional farming can introduce harmful pollutants to a surrounding environment, such as byproducts exuded from production processes. Pesticides also tend to be a problem, especially with produce that may not be properly cleaned before being processed for sale.
Cruelty to animals within the conventional farming industry is another topic of concern. Many animals are breed exclusively for food production and are often kept in less than ethical environments for that purpose. Due to this, many within the industry have pushed for change in how animals are used in food production.
2. Conventional farming may harm the surrounding environment.
Farming, whether large scale or small scale, does take a lot of resources away from the surrounding environment. One of the biggest concerns is the amount of waste that a large scale farm may produce, particularly from the animals that are used in food production. The unsafe disposal of this waste can lead to land, water and even air pollution in the surrounding area.
3. Large scale conventional farming takes away from small scale farmers.
Conventional farming involves both industrial and family farms, as many utilize the same processes in different ways. But large industrial farms are often the cause of smaller farms consolidating into bigger farms or completely going out of production.
While many small, often family-owned, farms still operate around the world, many are still under pressure by industrial farms. Their rate of production, cost of production and prevalence around the world makes it difficult for a small scale farm to gain traction.
Conventional farming is important to the world, despite its disadvantages for the planet. It’s highly unlikely that conventional farming, as many know it, will be eradicated in the distant future. Instead, many people who are fighting to make conventional farming much safer for the planet will eventually find ways to make conventional farming processes that much more green.