Industrialized Crop Production

By: Alissa Charalambous, Marlee Mcclendon, & Jaylen Thompson

What is industrialized crop production?

It's using heavy equipment along with large amounts of financial capital, fossil fuels, water, commercial inorganic fertilizers, and pesticides to produce monocultures.

Goal: to steadily increase each crop's yield (the amount of food produced per unit of land)

Greenhouse and Plantation Agriculture

Greenhouse is a newer form of raising crops indoors. It reduces water usage and pollution because water can be purified and recycled.

Plantation Agriculture is a form used in tropical, less developed countries. It's goal is to send cash crops (ex. bananas, coffee, sugar cane, palm oil) to more developed countries.

Environmental and Health Problems

Mono-cropping as many negative impacts on the environment like soil degradation, biodiversity loss, vulnerability to insects, weeds, fungi, and it relies on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. It also consumes fossil fuels, water, and topsoil at high rates. Many people complain that industrialized crop production produces poor quality meat that has a poor taste and requires fewer jobs.

Real World Examples


  • An example of industrial agriculture providing cheap and plentiful food is the U.S.'s "most successful program of agricultural development of any country in the world". Between 1930 and 2000 U.S. agricultural productivity rose by an average of 2 percent annually causing food prices to decrease
  • Factory farms concentrate an unnatural number of animals in one place, which creates a large amount of waste. For example, just one hog excretes up to 17.5 pounds of manure and urine every day. If there are 1,000 hogs, that is 6 million pounds of waste each year. On a factory with 35,000 hogs, over 4 million pounds of waste are produced each week and 200 million pounds each year
  • Unlike human waste, livestock manure isn't processed for sanitation. It is commonly mixed with water and held in pits and then spread or sprayed on cropland. The lagoons can leak or spill or the manure is over-applied to fields, which can cause it o run off into surface waters.

Solutions/Alternatives

  • Conservation agriculture, including no-till agricultural methods
  • Organic Fertilizer
  • Innovative pest management approaches
  • Water-management practices

Works Cited


  • "Health Issues | Organic Consumers Association." Health Issues. Organic Consumers Organization, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
  • Miller, G. Tyler. Living in the Environment: Concepts, Problems, and Alternatives. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub., 1974. Print.
  • "Sustainable Crop Production." GRACE Communications Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
  • "What You Can Do to Make Healthy Food and Farms a Reality." Union of Concerned Scientists. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.