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in agricultural practice, the concentration of one crop in a given area. This is generally associated with the growth of commercial agriculture and of CASH CROPPING, and can be contrasted with mixed farming more characteristic of agriculturalists growing for their own consumption. Whilst monoculture may have benefits for some crops, there may also be disadvantages: certain forms of mixed cropping may control pests and preserve the fertility of the soil, whereas monoculture is generally associated with increased use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. For this reason monoculture is generally associated with large-scale organizations, such as PLANTATIONS, which can mobilize the resources for the necessary inputs and manage the marketing of the crop. Even then, problems for THIRD WORLD countries resulting from monoculture arise from dependence on a few crops for export earnings which are vulnerable to changes in world prices and demand, over which Third World countries may have little control. See also AGRIBUSINESS.



(1) The only agricultural crop raised in farming.

(2) Long-term, uninterrupted (repeated) cultivation of one species of plants on one sector (field or garden) without crop rotation (alternation of crops). Monoculture depletes the physical properties of the soil and decreases its humus content. In most cases the soil is depleted of a specific nutrient. For example, long-term cultivation of cereal crops on the same land deprives the soil primarily of phosphorus. Sugar beets and potatoes take away potassium, and legumes remove both phosphorus and calcium. In addition, soil erosion and other problems are associated with monoculture. All of these effects reduce yields sharply, usually by 1.5 to 2 times. The use of fertilizers only slows down the process of depletion. Monoculture creates conditions conducive to the spread of weeds, harmful insects, and pathogens associated with a particular crop.

In capitalist countries such as prerevolutionary Russia, the USA, and Canada monoculture was typical of certain farming regions during the initial period of the development of new lands, when a single crop, such as wheat, was planted in the same place for several years in succession. Subsequently, the fields were abandoned for many years. As agriculture became intensive, monoculture declined, and crop rotation was introduced.


Zemledelie, 2nd ed. Edited by S. A. Vorob’ev. Moscow, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
Sundquist also discusses the "chemical monocultures" up in the hills and their devastating effects "downstream." Well, what about the chemical monocultures that actually are located "downstream?" I'm referring to those monocultures that I described earlier that contributed to the deforestation of Western Oregon.
The number of living larvae in the basal and middle sections was higher in intercropping than in the monoculture, but lower in the apical section.
Differentiation of Treatments in Monoculture, Mixed Culture, and Binary Physics Mixed through PCA and DFA.
However the proximity of faba bean to snow pea in the intercrop treatment did not affect thrips counts compared to snow pea grown in monoculture. These data indicate that faba bean does not reduce densities of thrips on adjacent snow pea, and so does not function as a trap crop.
To test the effects of monoculture versus polyculture plantings on post-restoration recovery of ecosystem functions, we established a series of plots with either 1 or 9 plant species.
The major metabolites in the anaerobic fungal monoculture were formate ([delta]= 8.46), acetate ([delta] = 1.94), lactate ([delta] = 1.34), ethanol ([delta] = 1.18), sugars/amino acids ([delta] = 3.2-4.0) and [alpha]-ketoglutarate (5 = 4.54) (Kwon et al., 2009).
the yield ratio of cassava intercrop to the monoculture cassava; and [RY.sub.2] is the relative yield of peanuts, i.e.
Although the study found that countries replacing forests and diverse, heterogeneous agricultural landscapes with extensive pollinator-dependent monoculture are most vulnerable, other countries also face risks from growing dependence on pollinators.
But even in Kaua'i, bee health is threatened by the expansion of monoculture operations controlled by chemical companies like DowDupont and Syngenta that are testing new pesticides and producing genetically engineered seeds for sale on the mainland.