Consider the role that agriculture plays in our society including its enviromental implications

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Farming, which supplies life itself to the human race also contributes to soil erosion and polluted water. Farmers and large agricultural corporations must clear trees to find land that will sustain crops. Wind and water passes over barren land which initiates erosion, a condition which has been caused by poor farming practices or deforestation. Cattle are generally raised on the eroded, previously farmed land which further degrades the soil. Such practices tend to lead to rapid soil degradation as most soils are too poor to sustain agriculture (Underlying Causes, 1999). Eroding soil mixes with clean water supplies thus reducing the amount of available, life-giving water for an increasing number of people. The soil that is washed into the drinking water contains toxins, pesticides, fertilizers and industrial wastes which not only restricts the supply of potable water but makes its way into the watershed underground, rivers, streams, lakes and eventually into the ocean and gulf waters which creates large areas of ‘dead zones’ where no living thing can survive.Soil degradation occurs when using chemical fertilizers which break down the chemical composition of the soil. Many scientists observed a gradual decrease of soil organic matter content in soils, as well as a decrease of soil biological activity in particular, in relation to chemical uses (Soils retrogression, 2007). The combination of erosion and degradation results in desert-like conditions where neither plants nor animals can survive but this problem can be overcome by implementing proven agricultural practices which enhance and rebuild the soil. Rebuilding is possible through the improvement of soil structure, addition of organic matter and limitation of runoff (Soils retrogression, 2007). These erosion reducing