Advantages of technology in agriculture include expediting crop production rate and crop quantity, which in turn reduces costs of production for farmers and food costs for consumers, and even makes crops more nutritious and livestock bigger and meatier. Technology in agriculture produces benefits for small-scale farms and national farming operations alike. These technologies include using environmentally sound and sustainable farming methods, such as no-till agriculture, and sophisticated equipment, including biotechnology.
Biotechnology serves as an evaluative and forecasting tool, helping farmers address issues like poor soil conditions, lower crop output and low nutritional value. Biotechnology lets humans manipulate certain aspects of crop and livestock production, in turn producing more cost-effective and higher quality products.
Genetic modification is one large area of biotechnology. This technology involves scientists selecting ideal traits for plants and animals. They artificially influence the process of natural selection, even exchanging genes among unrelated species. Using genetic modification, farmers may reduce risk of disease and infection.
Despite providing benefits, biotechnology raises ethical, environmental and economic concerns. Some fear genetic modification lowers levels of biological diversity, weeding out some species and encouraging the growth of others. Some people question the safety of genetic modification, citing use of chemicals and introduction of allergens as primary concerns. Biotechnology also proves to be an expensive tool, giving large-scale farmers an advantage over small farms, possibly threatening their sustainability.