Essay Sample on Dangers of Monocropping

Published: 2023-08-02
Essay Sample on Dangers of Monocropping
Essay type:  Problem solution essays
Categories:  Problem solving Ecology Food Agriculture
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1065 words
9 min read

The need for increased agricultural productivity is directly proportional to the increasing population of the world. Agriculture remains one of the essential human activities making for a large proportion of land use. According to Bruinsma (2017), 11 percent of the earth’s surface is used for agricultural production. In America, monocropping is one of the techniques used to increase crop production. Monocropping is the agrarian technique of growing the same crop every year on the same piece of land. The practice has grown popular since the agricultural revolution, which allowed farmers to specialize in specific crops. However, monocropping presents certain dangers, such as excessive depletion of nutrients and minerals from the soil. There is also the weakening of the soil texture leading to increased erosion.

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Furthermore, it leads to an increased usage of synthetic materials such as fertilizers, which carry specific harm to the environment. All these are being done to tend to the needs of the consumer. As a result, the American consumer needs to address the issue of monocropping by being educated about the dangers of monocropping, participating in community-supported agriculture, and organically gardening at home.

Proponents of monocropping might view it as the solution to food insecurity. According to Kassa (2015), the monocropping system is considered to be the most desirable agricultural development because of the high production under such systems, which was presumed to solve the problem of food shortages. Monocropping gained ground during the mechanization of agriculture in the 18th century. Monocropping provided an efficient way for farmers to deploy mechanized tools in the field. Most of these mechanizations were simple tools designed to perform simple tasks such as planting or harvesting. It was difficult for farmers to employ automation in alternative farming methods such as inter-cropping or multi-cropping.

Furthermore, monocropping was the agricultural version of specialization. Through monocropping, farmers got to perfect their art and knowledge on the farming of one crop, which allowed them to increase the yields based on their expertise and available resources. Monocropping was perceived as an efficient way of farmers to get the most out of their land and soil. Monocropping is commonly applied to crops such as corn and wheat, which require a vast amount of land to become profitable. Through monocropping, farmers can use the same techniques, machinery, same seed, and pest control throughout the entire farm. The system of farming ends up being economically efficient for the farmer as he saves on the costs of having to use different machinery, seeds, methods, pest control, and learning or employing other growing techniques.

The American consumer needs education on how the food they consume is produced and the dangers that such practices pose to their environment. Any campaign against monocropping requires a concerted effort from the political class, the media, and the members of the general public. The education of consumers on monocropping and the dangers it presents to their environment may help them to apply a certain level of pressure on the corporation involved in agriculture along with the individuals. Since the United States is a consumer-based economy, most farmers and corporations would be willing to adjust their farming techniques to adhere to the demands of the consumers.

The education of consumers has worked for other initiatives such as the going green initiative. Studies have indicated that increased environmental awareness among consumers has caused them to prefer purchasing goods from environmentally friends brands and companies (Gutierrez, Chiu, & Seva, 2020). The same can happen for the issue of monocropping if it is executed properly. The best thing to do is provide an alternative to the farming method so that the consumers don’t worry about starving or lacking food security.

Another contribution that can be made by American consumers is participation in community-supported agriculture. Community-supported agriculture is a concerted effort between farmers and consumers to provide a direct line of supply for agricultural goods. Consumers enter an agreement with the farm to support the yearly operating budget of the farm by purchasing a certain percentage or all of the seasonal harvests. Community-supported agriculture will reduce the practice of monocropping because the farmer’s planting pattern and methods will have to rely on the community’s needs. That entails inter-cropping or multi-cropping, which would allow the farmer to cater to the various needs of the community members. Also, the farmer concentrates on the quality and sustainability of the farming practice instead of mass agriculture.

Consumers can also take organic gardening at home as one way of reducing their reliance on monocropping. Organically gardening is the use of natural farming methods instead of synthetic products, which include pests and fertilizers. Organic gardening at home, when applied at home, can help reduce the demographic pressures that push farmers towards embracing monocropping (Gebru, 2015). Some of the crops farmed at home can supplement the food produced by farmers and help alleviate the demand on large farms. Also, organically gardening at home reduces the percentage of food that is made using synthetic fertilizers. Monoculture depletes the soil nutrients, which forces farmers to rely on synthetic fertilizers and products, which have inevitable negative consequences for the environment and the humans that consume foods produced from such methods. Therefore, organic farming at home can reduce monocropping by reducing the pressure on available agricultural land and reducing the overreliance on synthetic products.

Monocropping has been shown to have negative impacts on the environment. Any sustainable form of agriculture will need to move away from mono-cropping. However, some factors make it difficult to move away from mono-cropping. The issues of economics of production are likely to prevent any concerted efforts to move away from mono-cropping. However, the practice can be limited by using the power of consumers, who are the target of monocropping. Education programs on the harmful effects of monocropping, community-supported agriculture, and organic gardening by homeowners in their backyards can help reduce monocropping and encourage farmers to embrace alternative farming methods.


Bruinsma, J. (Ed.). (2017). World agriculture: towards 2015/2030: an FAO perspective. Land Use Policy, 20(4), 375. doi: 10.1016/s0264-8377(03)00047-4

Gebru, H. (2015). A review of the comparative advantages of intercropping to the mono-cropping system. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare, 5(9), 1-13.

Gutierrez, A. M. J., Chiu, A. S. F. & Seva, R. (2020). A Proposed Framework on the Affective Design of Eco-Product Labels. Sustainability, 12(8), 3234.

Kassa, G. (2015). Profitability analysis and determinants of fruit tree-based agroforestry system in Wondo District, Ethiopia. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 10(11), 1273-1280.

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