Green Revolution Farming

The most important farming method for the last 60 years has been Green Revolution Farming. Results have largely been achieved through use of genetically modified seeds, fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation.  As early gains have been captured there are diminishing returns in this method and the costs are high.

 

POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

Green Revolution (GR) is almost entirely responsible for feeding the world’s expanding population the last half century.

Expensive: GMO seeds are tailored to work with specific pesticides and lock farmers into seed manufacturer and licensing restrictions.

The doubling of the world cereal production between 1961 and 1991 was achieved mainly through increased yield: 85% due to  greater cropping intensity (Green Revolution); 15% growth due to increased cropland area.

Diminishing Returns: Now takes four times the chemical inputs to achieve each single unit increase in production.

Relies on genetically engineered and modified grains, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation to increase production yields.

Unfavorable Effects: Soil compaction; loss of organic matter; degradation of soil aggregates; death or disruption of soil micro bed; and, soil erosion where topsoil is blown or washed away.