Conventional farming is still one of the most practiced farming methods because of its benefits to the producers and consumers, including availability and price. However, there are also disadvantages attributed to this method. Let us take a look at its benefits and drawbacks.
List of Pros of Conventional Farming
1. Lesser Costs, Higher Gains
According to farmers who practice conventional farming, one of its benefits is the cheaper costs of using this method. Unlike organic farmers who use compost and animal manure which are expensive to ship, conventional farmers can use synthetic chemical fertilizers and sewage sludge that are cheaper. Also, they can also make use of a larger area of land to plant their crops and thus, can sell higher when the demand is also at its peak. Organic farmers cannot do this but instead, apply crop rotation. Also, with the choice of farmlands to grow their crops, they can produce at lower costs and gain a higher profit, making conventional farming a lucrative method.
2. More Job Opportunities
Advocates for conventional farming posit that there are several ways this method opens doors for the working class. Since farmers can use larger areas of farmlands, potential farm workers will be given jobs easily because of the need for more help in the fields. Other job opportunities include drivers of delivery trucks, laborers and helpers. These are on top of the sales opportunities for manufacturers and producers of fertilizers.
3. Increase of Food Production
Since production costs of conventional farming are low, farmers will be able to produce more crops and as a result, meet the growing demand for food supply. With the effects of global warming which include natural calamities, drought and the like, food production becomes low. With the capability of this method to produce larger quantities of food as opposed to organic farming, more farmers use this method.
4. Lower Costs of Produce
Because of low production costs, conventional farmers are able to mass-produce their crops and sell them to consumers at lower prices. As an effect, there will be more choices for the buying public because competitors will also be urged to lower their prices to be competitive. This becomes a win-win situation for both farmers and consumers.
List of Cons of Conventional Farming
1. Presence of Pesticides
One of the drawbacks of conventional farming is the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are used and sprayed on the crops. These harmful chemicals can enter the crops and when animals and human beings eat these crops, they will be exposed to health risks attributed to the use of these synthetic chemicals. Concerned groups say that 13 types of chemicals can be present in conventionally grown crops which children usually eat. Since these kids only choose fruits and vegetables they like, they can be exposed to these chemicals over and over.
2. Health and Environmental Hazards
Opponents of the use of the conventional farming claim that this method introduces pollutants to the environment like the byproducts that result from the process of manufacturing these chemicals and fertilizers. As for the case of animals being used for food production, conventional farming also has an impact on this because these animals are fed with mass-produced feeds that can also potentially harm these animals.
3. Disadvantageous to Small Farmers
Critics of conventional farming say that since this method is cheaper and lucrative, big farming industries that have the capital to finance larger areas of farmlands will dominate the industry and leave the small farmers with lesser room to grow in the industry.
There is no doubt conventional farming has its pros and cons but despite these issues, it still remains to be a popular farming method. Perhaps, it is best to encourage farmers to continue their research on producing safer and less expensive crops to increase their sales with lesser drawbacks.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.