The world is breathing heavily.
And the US is no exception. As of 2018, the carbon footprint of the US is close to five and a half billion tons. This makes the nation one of the worst polluted regions of the world. This is a monster of our own making. And it is slowly choking us to death. Literally.
Farmlands in the US are beginning to feel the ill effects of pollution. Decreasing crop yields, plant diseases and lack of soil productivity are some of the effects of pollution. Taken together, air, water and soil pollution have joined hands to destroy the agricultural system of the country.
Kelly engineering is committed to making farmers more aware. The following is a list of the negative effects of pollution that can harm your farm.
We’ve decided to divide our discussion under the heads of Air, Water And Soil Pollution. This will allow our readers to judge just how pervasive the effects of pollution can be.
Negative Effects Of Air Pollution
Farmers tend to focus on pests as one of the enemies of crops. But the very air you grow in can kill your crops. The air today contains heavy concentrations of harmful gases. Crops can be seriously damaged when they are exposed to these pollutants.
Such damage ranges from damaged leaves and stems to genetic mutations. This often leads to reduced growth and low yields. Often, plants die prematurely. Such pollution can also affect the taste and flavor of the crops. Many crops can even become poisoned due to pollutants.
The extent of the damage done depends on multiple factors.
The foremost factor is the concentration of the pollutants in the air. The greater the concentration of pollutants, the greater the damage to crops. Also important is the duration of exposure to the pollutants. Longer exposure leads to more permanent damage. Another factor is the kind of pollutant and the type of plant. Some plants are genetically predisposed to damage by pollutants.
Some common pollutants which affect farms are sulfur dioxide, ammonia, chlorine etc. Another major source of damage can be suspended particulate matter.
Such materials can visibly injure plants, kill tissues and discolor leaves. Plants can become stunted; in extreme cases, they can even die.
Now that we have seen the effects of air pollution, let’s move onto the liquid domain.
How Water Pollution Affects Plants
Water pollution is another major factor that can harm farmlands. Irrigation activities done with polluted water can actually kill the crops. Further, polluted water can damage the soil quality and lead to soil pollution.
What’s more, farmlands themselves are important sources of water pollution. Farmland runoff, excess fertilizers and similar pollutants can poison water bodies. This only serves to perpetuate the vicious cycle of pollution that continues to destroy the farm ecosystem.
The Contributions Of Soil Pollution
Last but certainly not least, soil pollution can be dangerous for your farm. The presence of harmful substances in the soil can negatively affect its productivity. This can lead to decreasing yields, stunted growth and obviously, death of the plants. Soil pollution also saps the soil of its growth capacity. This can render your entire farmland incapable of growth.
It should be mentioned here that farms also contain livestock apart from plants. And all the above-mentioned forms of pollution can actually serve to harm them as well. Eating polluted plants and drinking polluted water can put livestock at risk. Also, pollution tends to destroy the very atmosphere around the farm.
How To Overcome
The effects are there for all to see, but we can overcome them as well. By reducing the carbon footprint in our daily lives, we can contribute to greener farming practices. Sustainable forms of agriculture can be applied. Chemical fertilizers should be replaced with organic ones. And care should be taken to ensure that farm runoff doesn’t enter the water cycle. Through awareness, the effects of pollution can be overcome.
At Kelly Engineering we understand your concern for your farm. We are committed to providing you with state-of-the-art equipment for all your farming needs. And also, to help you overcome the ill-effects of pollution on your farm. Together, we can work towards a sustainable future.