Extensification of farming is the opposite of intensification. It is the process of decreasing the use of capital and inputs (e.g. fertilisers, pesticides, machinery) relative to land area.

Due to a decrease in inputs per land area the pressure on the environment may be decreased. A decrease in pesticides used, for instance, decreases the risk of pesticide run-off in surface and groundwaters. However, the actual effect of a decrease in the use of inputs on the environment does not only depend on the amount of inputs used but also on how they are applied. Therefore extensification does not necessarily lead to an environnmentally more beneficial situation.

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