Air pollution and agriculture today
California Agriculture 22(9):8-9.
Published September 01, 1968
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Agriculture still suffers huge financial losses each year from air pollution, but is now itself being examined with increasing vigilance as a source of pollution. Controlled fire has always been used by farmers for the preservation of food, for the destruction of pests and diseases, and for the disposal of wastes. Disposal of wastes—including straw, stubble, tree prunings, dead trees, and brush clearing on rangeland—produces smoke, odors, dust and air-borne particulate matter that is increasingly objectionable (but not necessarily harmful) to city dwellers as they continue to move out into rural areas. On the other hand, people-produced damage to farm crops from photo-chemical pollutants (resulting mostly from automobile exhaust) often occurs in the absence of analytical instruments that show first signs of air pollution. It is therefore important that there be continued surveillance of air pollution damage to agriculture, as well as measurement of amount and effects of agriculturally-produced pollution. This article discusses legislation, regulations and control aspects of the air pollution problem on a statewide basis, and offers a course of action for the future.