Agriculture has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. Agriculture is an important food source for most societies around the world. However, when agricultural processes are too intensive and fertilisers and pesticides are over-used, damage to the environment can occur. Effects include reduced soil and water quality, habitat and biodiversity loss and the introduction of pesticides into the food chain.
- Nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser intensity
Nitrogen and phosphate are two of the main active ingredients of fertilisers. Indicators show the total amounts of fertiliser released and therefore the total amounts of nitrogen and phosphate polluting the environment.
- Livestock densities
Indicators show the number of cattle, sheep, pigs and goats per square kilometre of agricultural land. This is compared with data for amounts of nitrogen and phosphate produced by livestock manure.
- Intensity of pesticide use
Pesticide use is derived from sales. The data is used to calculate the deposition of the toxic chemicals found in the pesticides.