Monoculture is a farming practice or agricultural method wherein the same farm or piece of land is used to grow only one type of crop, one species to be precise. Every crop has a specific season or cycle and every year the same crop will be sowed and reaped on the particular farmland. There are many reasons why monoculture has been the most prevalent practice around the world. The two most significant reasons are reduced labor or effort and maximum output or produce.
List of Pros of Monoculture
1. Easy, Simple and Focused
Monoculture is simple. A farmer doesn’t have to bother about multiple varieties of a single crop or multiple crops. One would grow only one variety of rice or potato, wheat or clover, corn or cotton. The land doesn’t have to be irrigated different for different crops. The entire focus is on one growth cycle, one type of crop, its needs and the maximum produce possible. Harvesting is easy too. One doesn’t have to deal with pests bearing in mind the possible impact on other crops.
2. More Affordable, More Rewarding
Monoculture is more affordable. The investment is reasonable given the needs of only one crop must be met. Harvesting is simpler and hence less labor intensive. All tools, farming methods and additional resources are used efficiently and more systematically with the singular objective of maximizing the output.
3. Better Execution, More Surefire Returns
A farmer gets to learn more about one crop and becomes an expert. It is not easy to learn everything about half a dozen crops. Farmers develop a degree of authority and can easily tackle challenges pertaining to growing the chosen crop. From preventing diseases to mastering the techniques to have the highest yields, everything becomes more decisive.
List of Cons of Monoculture
1. Underutilized Soil Nutrients
If a particular piece of farmland has more nutrients than those needed for the chosen crop then that would be wasted. Not utilizing or underutilizing soil nutrients is a form of wastage seen from the perspective of agriculture or farming.
2. Limited Food Choices
Monoculture focuses on a single crop and one that can be readily grown on a farm with the least effort. This encourages growing crops that have become staples in different countries. There will be fewer food options if all farmers chose monoculture. Also, there can be a surplus production of a few crops leading to unsold and wasted produce with no or limited production of other crops.
3. Diminishing Soil Fertility
The same crop being grown every year will reduce the nitrogen content in the soil. This will diminish its fertility.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.