Union of Concerned Scientists describes it:
Industrial agriculture views the farm as a factory with “inputs” (such as pesticides, feed, fertilizer, and fuel) and “outputs” (corn, chickens, and so forth). The goal is to increase yield (such as bushels per acre) and decrease costs of production, usually by exploiting economies of scale.
A sustainable approach, based on understanding agriculture as an ecosystem, promises sufficient produce without sacrificing the environment. For sustainable agriculture to thrive, the policies that foster industrial agriculture will need to be refocused.