How do you feel about monocultures as they relate to crops?

9 Mar

I believe that polycultures are a better way of farming than monocultures. All plants in a monoculture are the same genetically, therefore if a disease strikes it is highly likely that it will spread over the entire crop because no plant is more immune than the other. The variety of crops in a polyculture is a way of avoiding the vulnerability of monocultures to disease. There are pros and cons to both polycultures and monocultures. Here are a few listed below:

Monocultures 

Pros 

  • Produces higher yields
  • Farmers only have to deal with one type of crop
  • Allows higher production of crops with a high demand (eg. corn, wheat, rice, potatoes)

Cons

  • Crops are more susceptible to disease
  • Reduces genetic diversity
  • Pesticide pollution/contamination
  • Higher chance for soil erosion/degradation

Polycultures 

Pros 

  • Preserves root systems
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Immune systems of the plants increases

Cons

  • Control issues for the farmer
  • More time consuming
  • Less efficient than monocultures

Anastasia

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2 Responses to “How do you feel about monocultures as they relate to crops?”

  1. Kerrie Levine 03/27/2012 at 12:35 AM #

    I believe that the “cons” section for polycultures are only “cons” because farmers are not used to doing this sort of farming. Once a farmers gets to know what they are doing, I think there will be nothing but pros! It’s all about learning something new and practicing!

    • foodtheoryii 03/27/2012 at 3:18 PM #

      I agree with that if they put in the effort and time to learn and apply then they will have positive results!

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