Why Are Monocultures Bad?
This type of farming goes against any form of traditional crops and growing food. The main technique is to replant the very same crop species in the very same field, with no other type of plant whatsoever. This is the basis of large-scale farm corporations that have been trying to control our food sources for decades. And, with the quantity of technology used – such as chemical fertilizers – the practice has become common, often usurping organic farming.
However, there are many downsides to this form of plant growing. Reusing the exact same soil, instead of rotating three or four different crops following a pre-determined cycle, can lead to plant pathogens and diseases. They adapt to the soil and attack the crops and the quantity produced eventually decreases. Furthermore, using pesticides and herbicides in the same field can have the same effect – the soil becomes used to it, thus needing other types or stronger insect and weed killers.
Afterwards, the use of these chemical products damages the land by infiltrating itself in the soil and, at times, is dragged by rainwater into the nearest body of water. Depending on where this land and water are located, wildlife that drink from it end up consuming these harsh killers and any life that made the body of water its habitat is affected – at times heavily – by the same products. If this body of water is a lake or river used for a city’s drinking water, then humans know an increase in cancer rates in that area.
With time, the land’s mineral value also begins to decrease. The quantity of food produced is, of course, impacted by this: we can produce less and of lesser quality this way. Eventually, the land will be depleted of all its minerals, and although this can take decades, the damage is irreversible. Even grass will refuse to grow there, and the farm needs to move to another location.
The answer to this craziness is to develop bot organic and permaculture farming, using ancient but tried, tested and true techniques of planting crops. Organic consists of using only natural pesticides and crop rotations, and permaculture tries to mimic the natural environment that these plants typically grew in before human intervention, which means that the plant will grow to its full potential by cultivating it in its preferred environment.