Increasing agricultural production has always been the main goal of agricultural research. Because of the continuing growth of the world's population and the important share of agricultural products in the world economy, this increase of agricultural production will continue to be important, but under different conditions. The more or less uncontrolled growth in agricultural production during the past few decades, in industrial as well as developing countries, has pushed agricultural production to and, in many cases, over the edge of sustainability. This means that the traditional ways to increase production by, for example, land and water engineering are meeting a new challenge: to find a new balance between agricultural development and the conservation of the natural resources.
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