The Negative Impacts of Monoculture Farming

Tim Hornibrook spent 13 years of his career with Australia’s Macquarie Group. For a large portion of his time at Macquarie, Tim Hornibrook was responsible for managing the firm’s agribusiness initiatives. His expertise in horticulture, grains, and agriculture often resulted in interviews with various media outlets about global food security. In a 2014 interview with Reuters, Mr. Hornibrook discussed why monoculture devastates soil and food production.

Monoculture farming involves the cultivation and growth of a single crop over a large area. A practice used by commercial agricultural companies, this type of farming makes plants more susceptible to pests. Regardless of the pesticide or chemicals used to control the insects, they only work for a limited amount of time, because the pests eventually evolve and become resistant to unchanging environments. This leads to an ecosystem that cannot support its crops, due to a lack of plant diversity.

Furthermore, monoculture farming is not sustainable, as it is not adaptable. In natural habitats, plants of assorted types and varieties live symbiotically in close proximity. Each plant grows and offers nutrients and protection needed by other plants. Planting and growing a single crop strips away those mutually beneficial advantages.

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