Agricultural impacts on the rural environment.

Published online
01 Sep 1990
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Green, B. H.

Publication language


Post-war agriculture in Britain and the EEC, facilitated by new technology and state support, has been very successful in increasing food supplies to a level where most products are now in surplus. Substantial environmental impacts have resulted, particularly habitat and species loss and pollution from pesticides and nitrogen fertilizer. Problems of soil compaction and erosion have not been widespread but concern is growing over the increasing incidence of soil erosion. Policy measures are now being implemented to reduce production by switching some state support for agriculture from production to environmental management. Production can be reduced either by a return to lower-input/output systems, or by taking land out of farming use. There is vigorous debate in the environmental movement as to which strategy, or mix of strategies, would maximize environmental benefits.

Key words