AGRICULTURE dominates land use and has a fundamental role in maintaining the countryside and protecting the environment. The development of intensive farming practices and the increased use of agrochemicals, which more than quadrupled food production last century, has resulted in potential environmental problems, which are being addressed by codes of good practice and a more positive integration of agricultural and environmental policies.
With agriculture becoming more mechanised and intensive, the productivity of the soil and crop yields have been markedly improved by fertilisers and pesticides. These changes have resulted in a wide range of potential environmental impacts on water quality. These impacts can be controlled by good farming practice through guidance given in the Scottish Executive’s “Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity” – the PEPFAA Code.