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Agriculture and food capacity

Soils on arable lands globally are a resource to society with potential use for food production. Production is ultimately limited by soil type, climate, hydrology, and land management. The native soil type is what has been provided by the land, from centuries or millennia of soil development, typically under mostly natural conditions under native plant vegetation. The effect of human populations may have been to drain land for cultivation (affecting hydrology), to modify the landscape, build structures, and to remove native vegetation. Some modifications have aided with food production. Others have had unintended consequences of causing land degradation, such as salinization, topsoil erosion, compaction, pollution, desertification, or depletion of soil nutrients.

Some of these issues are of serious concern in developing countries where oversight and regulations protecting the land may not be in place. For instance, overgrazing and rapid deforestation of the land, and generally poor land management, can lower the organic matter content of surface soils, thus lowering fertility and increasing the likelihood of topsoil erosion due to removal of the protective vegetative covering. As the world's population continues to increase, we will need to find ways to continually increase (or more effectively utilize) food production capacity from an essentially fixed amount of arable land worldwide. As population density has increased, crop yields and the numbers of acres in production have been continually increasing, with technological advances and more land in agriculture. This is not a sustainable trend, though, since the land area on earth is finite. In fact, some prime farmland is even being removed from production in developed countries as urbanization and land development occur on the ever-expanding edges of population centers. Efforts will need to be made to preserve enough high yield farmland to be sustainable for future generations.

Soil compaction, tillage, and sustainable practices

In modern agricultural practices, heavy machinery is used to prepare the seedbed, for planting, to control weeds, and to harvest the crop. The use of heavy equipment has many advantages in saving time and labor, but can cause compaction of soil and disruption of the natural soil biota. Much compaction is reversible and some is unavoidable with modern practices; however, serious compaction issues can occur with excessive passage of equipment during times when the soil has a high water content. The problem with soil compaction is that increased soil density limits root penetration depth and may inhibit proper plant growth.

Current practices generally encourage minimal tillage or no tillage in order to reduce the number of trips across the field. With proper planning, this can simultaneously limit compaction, protect soil biota, reduce costs (if performed correctly), promote water infiltration, and help to prevent topsoil erosion (see below). Tillage of fields does help to break up clods that were previously compacted, so best practices may vary at sites with different soil textures and composition. Crop rotation can also help to reduce bulk density with planting of crops with different root depth penetration. Another aspect of soil tillage is that it may lead to more rapid decomposition of organic matter due to greater soil aeration. Over large areas of farmland, this has the unintended consequence of releasing more carbon and nitrous oxides (greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to global warming effects. In no-till farming, carbon can actually become sequestered into the soil. Thus, no-till farming may be advantageous to sustainability issues on the local scale and the global scale.

Questions & Answers

Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
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