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Agricultural Engineering
Agricultural engineering covers many different areas related to farming. It includes the design of machines, the building of water supply systems and the setup of drainage. Another domain that is covered by agricultural engineering is the crop design.
Engineering in agriculture can have positive but also negative effects. On the one hand, it can increase the productivity of farming. By using bigger machines for example, more land can be farmed in a shorter period of time. On the other hand, big machines cause more damage to the soil and the increasing land use limits the space for animals and other plants.
Additionally, agricultural engineering includes the application of fertilizers and pesticides, which cause damage to natural ecosystems. However, if consumers demand more and more cheap food, it becomes more and more difficult for small farms to survive - especially if they are applying sustainable farming practices.
Food Production: The global population is growing and we need more food. However, we have an overproduction in Europe and a lot of food gets thrown away, whereas other countries do not have enough food. It is a contested issue if agricultural engineering can be used in the future to solve these problems.
Environment: Engineering in agriculture can cause serious damage to natural ecosystems. A major challenge will be to find solutions towards 'green' agricultural engineering.
Rural Societies: With technological support, larger areas can be farmed with less people. In many countries, we already see the dominance of large farms and more and more young people move from the countryside to the cities. We therefore need to think about how we can make farming more attractive to young people, and explore how we can ensure they can make a living off contemporary agriculture.

Agricultural engineering, Soil sealing, Pesticides, Fertilizers, Rural societies, Organic farming, Regional products, Sustainable farming, Precision agriculture