Intensive farming is to try and produce as much food as possible from the land, plants and animals avaialble.
Efficent, however raises ethical dielmas.
Pesticides - remove animals that feed on crop - prevents energy being transferred from crop to consumers - reduces bio-diversity, may harm helpful organisims.
Herbicides - remove competing plants from the crop growing area - allows more energy to be transfered to crop - reduces bio-diversity, may have bad effect on health.
Insecticdes - used to kill insect pests. Fungicides - used to kill fungi.
Bilogical Control - an alternative to using pesticides, can effect food chains.
Advantages of Biological Control...
It's species specific.Can have an impact for a long time. Pest can't become resistant to predator, unlike pesticides.
Disadvantages of Bilogical Control...
Takes time, research and costs. Only one fifth are totaly succesful. Reduced but not completley removed.
Hydroponics is the production of food using nutrient-rich solution rather than soil
Soil is replaced by a mineral solution pumped around the plants roots.
Removing soil means there is no risk of soil organisms causing disease but the plant must be supported.
You can monitor and adjusts the mineral concentrations.
It allows crops to be grown in an environment where there is no soil.
Due to costs involved, hydroponics is only used for high-value crops.
Organic farming methods aim to produce high quality food whilst maintaing the welfare of the animals and minimizing the impact on the environment.
To do this the methods they use are...
Using Manure instead of fertiliser, recycles waste-improves soil structure. Difficult to apply and can't control minerals.
Crop rotation, replaces single crop. Reduces disease and damage to soil composition. Less productivity, less efficient to grow different crops.
Weeding, replaces herbicides. less envior damage and less of a health risk. But it is labour intensive.
Nitrogen fixing plants replaces nitrogen fertiliser. It is cheaper, and lasts longer. Reduces are available for growing crops if part of crop rotation.
Advantages and Disadvantages...
Advantages - Increase productivity. Disadvantages - Ethical issues, 'morally wrong'.
Advantages - Better control of mineral levels. Better control of disease. Disadvantages - Lack of support for plant. Required addition of fertilisers.
Advantages - Manure and composts improve soil structure, leading to better drainage and water rentention. No disruption to food chain because of pesticides. Less chance of polluting rivers. Less chance of chemical residue on food. Disadvantages - Labour intensive. Lower yields. Needs more space than intensive. Crops more likely to have defects, caused by pests or disease damage.