The Processes of the Change in the Rural Environments in the UK

The Processes of the Change in the Rural Environments in the UK
?Hi-tech farming develops higher yields at lower costs using less land". I would agree with this statement because over the past few years, precision farming has become a proven and affordable way to know your crops. Each year, more and more farmers turn to high-tech tools to collect data, process information in order to increase their yields. These hi-tech tools include Global positioning systems which allow the farmer to keep track of the crops he or she has sprayed and enables them to spray at night. It also allows them to keep track of what crops they have already harvested and where they have planted new ones. This reduces errors made by farmers that could lead to crops being destroyed and, therefore, increasing potential yield. Yield mapping will also increase yield; with a yield mapping monitor, it is possible to spot where areas of rocks or infertile land are located, which might affect crop growth. Sprayer control systems will also help keep costs down while increasing crop yield.
This works by giving crops the exact amount of chemicals regardless of vehicle speed using an onboard monitoring computer. Farming methods also increase yields at lower costs, battery farming for example where hens are packed into cages can cut costs for farmers, because they can have more hens in a concentrated space making it easier to rear and manage them. However, this is bad for the hens because the severely limited space causes extreme feather loss and the wire cage can give them painful blisters. Hi-tech farming has both negative and positive effects. Inorganic fertilisers and chemical biocides play an important part in agriculture and many farmers feel they couldn?t live without it. Nitrogen based fertilisers, known as nitrates are widely used and help to increase crop yield, (average 127.5 tonnes per hectare in the UK). However, using nitrates has a negative side too. Excess nitrate leaks into groundwater supplies and can run into ponds and rivers. This can then lead to eutrophication, which is when nitrates create a nutrient rich environment which causes plants and algae to multiply rapidly. These plants then use the oxygen in the rivers and ponds, causing fish and other fresh water animals to die as there isn?t enough oxygen for them to survive. It also contaminates human water supplies which is a health hazard. The Ministry of agriculture, fisheries and foods (maff) has confirmed that there is a link between nitrates and cancer. Phosphates from sewage and farm slurry have also caused pollution in areas like the Norfolk Broads. Biocides and other chemicals are used to kill organisms which damage crops and are otherwise known as poisons. The most common way to apply the biocide to the crops is to spray them by vehicle or by plane, this insures a healthy crop. However, they are also a health risk; some banned pesticides like ddt and Aldrin have been linked to the decline in farmland birds, when they were widely used in the 1970?s. Now maff have been force to approve all new products entering the UK and groups like friends of the earth check that major food retailers monitor the residue levels in vegetables. Other negative points involving hi-tech farming are: 1. Land exhaustion: where by it is being continuously subjected to artificial fertilizer but there is not enough crop rotation. This causes the soil?s fertility to be reduced year by year. 2. Soil erosion: rain destroys the top soil by washing it away. 3. Animal slurry: When hundreds of animals are packed together in indoor pens, their manure accumulates at a great speed. This is then usually dumped in lagoons which leak into local watercourses. 4. Stubble burning: mountains of organic matter are burned and then become polluting smoke. Now farmers can move away from using chemicals and fertilizers by using different methods of farming. Farmers can now grow organic crops; they can use insect predators which help protect the crops replacing the need for chemicals. Another option is to cultivate less intensively or reward nitrate-free farming. The government can also help persuade farmers to change their methods by fining and taxing polluters higher and giving incentives to farmers who keep pollution to a minimum. Genetically modified food or GM foods are also an alternative though highly controversial crop that can cut costs to farmers and help protect the environment as they don?t require pesticides. By 2009 the government have a target to make 25 percent of farming organic. The reasons for this are that it means healthier food as no chemicals are used and food production is six times more sustainable and more energy efficient.

The Processes of the Change in the Rural Environments in the UK 9.8 of 10 on the basis of 4192 Review.