Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture has had a profound impact on the natural world, especially over the course of the 20th century. In many places, agriculture is now increasingly industrialized, leading to monocultures that are reliant on external mechanical, biological, and chemical inputs (e.g., tractors, hybrid seeds, and pesticides). Many geographers and others are beginning to question the sustainability of these conventional systems. Indeed, industrial agriculture has hit a crisis point—especially when considered in combination with the issues of environmental erosion, climate change, and depleting fossil fuels—and politicians, agribusiness leaders, environmentalists, and farmers alike now advocate for “sustainable agriculture.” However, sustainable agriculture is a poorly defined and highly politicized term, and it clearly means different things to different stakeholders. This is because sustainable agriculture is a philosophical approach, rather ...

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