Intensive farming methods can increase productivity. It means trying to produce as much food as possible from the land, plant, animals available. Examples of intensive farming methods are; fish farming; glasshouses; hydroponics; battery farming. All of these methods involve reducing the energy loss, that happens at each stage of the food chain.
In battery farming, animals are kept close together indoors. This saves wasting energy on, moving and trying to keep warm.
Although intensive farming methods are effective, they are unethical, because they damage the world, making it polluted, unattractive, and devoid of wildlife.
1. hedges are cut down to make the fields bigger, however this destroys the natural habitat of some animals. 2. Fertilizers can pollute rivers and lakes. 3. Pesticides disturb food chains. 4. battery farming is cruel.
Herbicides and Pesticides.
Using herbicides and Pesticides can produce more food. Insecticides kill insects. Fungicides kill fungi. Herbicides kill weeds, so more of the suns energy is transferred, to the plant. Pesticides kill pests to make sure no energy, is transferred into a different food chain.
The problem with pesticides is that they may enter other food chains and, may harm other animals that aren't pests. If a pesticide is sprayed onto a crop to kill a pest, they may also kill other animals such as bees. This can cause a shortage of food for other animals. Also it may be poisonous so if it enters a food chain, it could harm humans.
Examples of organic farming methods are, 1. no artificial fertilisers - organic ones are used such as manure. It recycles the nutrients lefpt in waste. It doesn't work as well, but it is better for the environment. 2. No herbicides to kill weeds, they physically weed them. It is more labour intensive, but no chemicals are involved. 3. No pesticides are used, crop rotation means growing a cycle of different crops each year. This stops the pests and diseases of one crop building up. 4. varying the seed planting times, sowing seeds at a different time will avoid pests. 5. Mst crop rotation includes nitrogen fixing crops, to put nutrients back in the soil.
Advantages. 1. Uses fewer chemicals, so there is less risk of them remaining on food. 2. It is better for the environment, less chance of polution and disturbing food chains. 3. Follows ethical guide lines.
Disadvantages. 1. it takes up more space, so more land is used for that, and less for animals. 2. It's more labor intensive making the food more expensive. 3. You can't grow as much food.
This is when plant can grow without soil. This can be used for plant growth in barren soil, or glasshouse tomatoes.
Advantages. 1. Better control of mineral levels. 2. better control of disease. 3. avoids pests. 4. no soil preparation.
Disadvantages. 1. lack of support for the plant. 2. required addition or fertilizers. 3. expensive.
Pests can be controlled biologically by introducing predators.
Advantages. 1. Usually doesn't kill all the harmless creatures, only the pests. 2. No chemicals are used, preventing pollution and disruption of food chains.
Disadvantages. 1. Slower than pesticides, have to wait for control organism to build up it's numbers. 2. Wouldn't kill all the pests, only one type. 3. Takes more management and planning. 4. Workers might need training and education.
However, removing an animal from the food web, can affect other organisms too. For example, if you remove a pest insect, you may me removing a source of food, which might cause them to die out.