Modern Agriculture: Definition and Characteristics

The Modern agriculture Is one in which the success of the process depends on the use of technology, access to resources, management, investment, market characteristics and support at the government level.

This type of practice allows a better control of the factors involved in the processes of agricultural crops and animal husbandry. In this way, the results that will be obtained will depend on the success that is had in the handling of these factors.

Modern agriculture farmer

However, maintaining the soil fertile with a quantity of nutrients and adequate irrigation can be achieved with the help of technology and the machinery suitable for it.

Broadly speaking, the global demand for food represents a real challenge, since in the developed countries the middle class population gets better incomes and in turn. This type of activity is compatible with the subsistence farming , Which resists in some areas to disappear.

Some studies estimate that between 2010 and 2050 the population of developed countries will need about twice as much agricultural output. As a consequence, it will be necessary to increase the production requirements so that it will suffer a delay, raising the price food.

Techniques of modern agriculture

The new technologies adopted for the development of crops bring with it a number of elements, among which we can mention: the variety of high yielding seeds, adequate irrigation practices, fertilizers, pesticides, planting various types of crops At the same time, what is known as crop rotation, etc.

Each of these techniques put in place by this type of agriculture is detailed below:

High Performance Seeds

This type of seeds is identified as HYV seeds, have their own characteristics that make them able to take better advantage of irrigation water, nutrients. The quantity of product that is obtained by surface planted is superior in comparison with a traditional seed.

However, they are very delicate and in order to obtain the desired results, special care must be taken with them as any change in crop management causes reduced production and productivity without a successful crop.

Irrigation practices

It is known that water is necessary for crops to grow, which is why it is called the blood of the life of agriculture.

Water plays a decisive role in the development of the crop pattern, the crop combinations, the intensity of the crop and the extent of the land sown and the seasonal rhythm for each crop.

Therefore, it must be taken into account that without adequate irrigation it is not possible to use high-yielding seeds, and proper fertilization can not be carried out either.


The use of fertilizers is an important ingredient for modern agriculture. With them you can increase the productivity of high yielding seed culture.

However, it is important to make the selection of biofertilizers as they are sustainable and more environmentally friendly. In many cases such practice is achieved with the addition of nitrogen fixing bacteria in high yielding seeds.


Pesticides are chemical substances used to control pests that attack crops. However, many of them contaminate crops causing health problems.

In modern agriculture, farmers are adopting integrated pest management (IPM) as a sustainable alternative to the use of pesticides.

This type of management allows the incorporation of a series of techniques to control pests that attack crops but with less damage to the environment.

An example of this practice is planting pest-resistant crops, using biological control with eating insects, destroying areas where they are nesting, among others. In this way the use of chemical pesticides is a last resort.

Crop rotation

The rotation of cultivation allows to plant different types of crops in the same place by which the soil is allowed to recover the nutrients that were removed by a previous crop.

This technique is considered to be one of the most powerful in modern agriculture, since it avoids the consequences of the same type of cultivation in the same area, year after year.

Another of the benefits of crop rotation is the biological control of pests, as many of them like a specific crop, planted each year on the same surface so they are guaranteed to have enough food for their growth and development .

An example of crop rotation initiated by some farmers has been to plant soybeans and other legumes. Thanks to this practice the farmers have been able to replenish the nutrients in the soil so that in the next season, in that same space that already has enough nutrients, they will plant corn.

Cattle raising

Modern agriculture and livestock farming depend on each other and are part of the valuable resources that the land offers. Each plant or animal has a specific role within this process.

Some studies have determined that for the production of one kilogram of meat, 3 to 10 kilograms of grains are needed. In this sense, most farmers raise cattle to feed their families or to sell them in an increasingly competitive market.

But to achieve a balance between yield, food stability and environmental conservation, there must be appropriate incentives to encourage livestock farming.

One element of this incentive is the biological knowledge and agricultural practices applicable to the different types of ecosystems, regions, types of soil and relief.

Although many problems caused by livestock rearing are difficult to control, the allocation of adequate incentives can help to increase the benefits of agricultural production to society.

For this reason, the coordinated participation of the offices or ministries of agriculture and environment is necessary to develop a common goal, which allows to achieve sustainable development in addressing the concerns of both entities regarding the use and management of land and the resources.

However, it should be borne in mind that, without adequate investment, the perceived gains from crop yields as well as environmental protection may be insufficient to achieve the transition to sustainable agriculture.


This is an element of great importance in modern agriculture, since, like the aspects discussed above, without them, it is not possible to develop a good agricultural process.

Access to modern machinery and technology are decisive factors for the success of modern agriculture. Both elements provide a great help, since each plays a decisive role in a determined stage of the agricultural process.

For soil preparation, irrigation, seed sowing, crop harvesting, fertilization and pest control, each of these activities requires the participation of modern machinery to ensure the success of the process.


Agricultural technology is considered one of the most striking and revolutionary areas of this field as it is focused on producing enough food to meet the growing demand of the population.

Although it should not be forgotten that technology evolves quickly. Modern farmers can do a better job compared to their ancestors.

The technology has changed the way the machines operate, the use of computer systems, global positioning systems (GPS), automatic management programs, reduce fuel consumption, loss of seeds and fertilizers, among others.

The road to sustainable agriculture

Modern agriculture allows farmers to plan their goals with the sustainability of their practice in mind. This involves conserving and protecting natural resources, providing food and fuel to a growing population, all in a financially viable way for producers and consumers.

Nevertheless, everything depends on the good management that is made of each one of the elements that integrate the system of the modern agriculture. If any of them fail, it will not be possible to achieve the desired yield and productivity and as a result will reduce the quality and quantity of food available.

To be successful in this work, investment in agricultural research, development and extension as well as the implementation of better goods and services and improvement in the practice of processes, which are derived from the research, is necessary.

In this research process, government entities and private companies must be immersed in order to implement programs and policies that provide the regulatory framework and that in turn provide incentives to those who take the risk of innovating.

As the latest data, the United Nations Organization for Agriculture says that global agriculture has been able to meet the demand for food during the last half century. However, productivity growth will depend on the proper management of available resources.


  1. Motes, C. (s.f.). Modern Agriculture and Its Benefits- Trends, Implications and Outlook. Global harvest Initiative. Retrieve from
  2. Priyadarshini, S. (2016). Characteristics of Modern Agricultural Techniques. Retrieve from
  3. Manas (2011). High Yielding Variety Seeds . Retrieve from
  4. Carvajal-Muñoz and Carmona-Garcia. (2012). Benefits and limitations of biofertilization in agricultural practices. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 24, Article # 43. Retrieved from
  5. GRACE Communications Foundation (2017). Pesticides . Retrieved from
  6. Union of Concerned Scientists. (S.f.). Sustainable Agriculture Techniques. Retrieved from
  7. (S.f.). Innovation in agriculture. Chapter VI. Retrieved from
  8. New World Encyclopedia. (2016). Agricultural technology. Retrieved from

Loading ..

Recent Posts

Loading ..