Freshwater Forum, Vol 28 (2010)

Agricultural practice and the effects of agricultural land-use on water quality

Silke Skytte Johannsen, Patrick Armitage

Abstract

The intensification of agricultural land-use and changes in farming methods in conjunction with new industrial technologies has made it possible to increase food production and cultivate land previously considered as unsuitable. This article examines the detrimental effects of this intensification and considers agricultural practices (conservation tillage) which aim to protect soils from degradation. The effects of agricultural land-use on water quality are considered in relation to excessive nutrients, application of agrochemicals, sediment input and contamination by heavy metals. National and European policies for water and soil protection are discussed.
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