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CIGR Handbook of Agricultural Engineering, Volume III Plant Production Engineering, Chapter 3 Trends for the Future, Part 3.1 Sustainable and Environmental Engineering

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  CIGR Handbook of Agricultural Engineering, Volume III Plant Production Engineering, Chapter 3 Trends for the Future, Part 3.1 Sustainable and Environmental Engineering, pp. 585-598  .(doi:10.13031/2013.36360)
Authors:   R. O. Hegg
Keywords:   Keywords: 3.1.1. Definition and Background, 3.1.2. Policy, 3.1.3. Social, Economic, and Regional Differences, 3.1.4. Components, 3.1.5. Summary

First paragraph: In general, sustainable agriculture is an agriculture that can evolve indefinitely toward greater human utility, greater efficiency of resource use, and a balance with the environment that is favorable both to humans and to most other species [14]. Modern agriculture has gradually evolved, in the industrialized countries, to depend on high inputs of inorganic fertilizers and synthetic chemicals to produce monoculture cash crops. Mechanization was adopted rapidly in the mid-20th century due to scarcity and rising costs of labor. These practices in Europe and North America have led to increased soil erosion and contamination of surface and ground water. Many developing countries have adopted the same practices of the developed countries: high use of commercial fertilizers and pesticides and a few high-yield crops. This trend is based on the need to produce more food for increasing populations. The developing countries have experienced greater pest, disease, and weed problems, increased soil erosion, environmental hazards, and economic stress.

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