American agriculture has changed dramatically since the first days of mechanized equipment and large-scale crop production. “Many conceived of farming as a rewarding life . . . and a source of moral virtue” (Mariola, 2005). While presently, many view farming as purely economic in purpose. It has been stated that farming in America is decreasing more quickly than any other occupation. Yet, population increases steadily, making agriculture all the more essential. Many current issues are affecting agricultural progress in America; basic concerns over water, land, and climate only begin to describe the complex predicament. Economics, as well as public involvement and education are important tools, needed to save American agriculture.
Water is the chief resource for agricultural production. One historical dilemma between farming and water occurs when misapplication of chemicals and nutrients leach into the ground water table, or run off to rivers and streams, polluting this vital resource. “Twenty-five years after the Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed . . . [it was reported] that nearly 40% of waters were too polluted for basic uses” (Secchi et al, 2005). Projects to rehabilitate and conserve water often prove complex and expensive. Comprehensive understanding of the opportunity costs involved in management projects is key to forming an efficient conservation strategy. Similarly, it will be imperative to transition out-dated agricultural attitudes and routines towards new sustainable practices. The greatest motivation for this shift may be in the form of government subsidies and rewards for progressive, sustainable water management practices on agricultural lands.
Favorable climate is another key...
... middle of paper ...
Secchi, S., Gassman, P.W., Jha, M., Kurkalova, L., Feng, H.H., Campbell, T., & Kling, C. (2005). The cost of clean water: Assessing agricultural pollution reduction at the watershed scale. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Retrieved March 26, 2007, from http://www.card.iastate.edu
Lamptey, B.L., Barron, E.J., & Pollard, D. (2005). Impacts of agriculture and urbanization on the climate of the northeastern United States. Global and Planetary Change. 49, 203-221.
Cox, L.A. Jr., Popken, D.A., VanSickle, J.J., & Sahu, R. (2005). Optimal Tracking and Testing of U.S. and Canadian Herds for BSE: A Value-of-Information (VOI) Approach. Risk Analysis, 25, 827-839.
Hwang, Y., Roe, B., & Teisl, M. (2005). An Empirical Analysis of United States Consumers' Concerns About Eight Food Production and Processing Technologies. AgBioForum. 8(1), 40-49.
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