Case Study: Biofuels and Banana Chips: Food Crops vs.

Fuel Crops 1: Why do pig farmers have to feed their pigs “junk-food”? To get them fat, and because the price of feed is high Agroecosystems: 2: Explain how agroecosystems halt ecological succession. The plants are grown in an early stage of succession that allows them to grow and spread rapidly 3: What is the problem with growing “monocultures”? They are very vulnerable to disease and remove nutrients from the soil 4: Why does growing plants in neat rows and fields make it easier for pests? Insects move in straight lines and will have no problem walking down the line and eating all of the plants 5: How does plowing fields over and over damage the soils? Explain. Leads to compression, loss of biodiversity, death of organisms within, makes it vulnerable to damage like erosion 6: What are the other 2 ways that agrocultures are harmful to ecosystems? They lack layers within the soil and can be made unsustainable through the ploughing The Plow Puzzle 7: How much of the top soil in the U.S. has been lost since European settlement? About 1/3 Can We Feed the World? 8: What percentage of the world’s land area is used for agriculture? About 38% How We Starve 9: What is the difference between undernourishment and malnourishment? Undernourishment not getting enough of any type of food, and malnourishment means eating unhealthily, as well as not having enough to eat 10: Why does providing food aid to countries in need actually work against increased availability of locally grown food? They gain reliance on foreign countries instead of creating a stable local system

What We Grow on the Land 11: Most of the world’s food is produced by only 14 species. List them below in order of importance: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Wheat Rice Maize Potato Sweet potato Manioc Sugarcane Sugar beet Common beans Soybeans Barley Sorghum Coconuts Bananas

12: What is a forage crop? Grass and legume plant species that are grown for livestock feed as well as land conservation and reclamation 13: Define the following: Rangeland: Land that is used for grazing and browsing animals and is not ploughed or planted Pasture: Land that is ploughed, planted, and harvested to provide forage for animals 14: What impact does the number of livestock around the world have on rangeland and pasturelands? Land around streams are trampled and their waste is released into the stream waters 15: Why are feedlots considered to be a big source of local pollution? Manure builds up in piles and is washed away, causing massive pollution in the rain 16: What is a benefit of farming animals rather than crops? Land that is too poor for edible crops can serve as good rangeland Soils 17: How does rainwater affect the soil horizon? Explain. The rain can leach the nutrients from the upper layers into a lower region 18: What is soil fertility? How it is determined? The capacity of soil to supply the necessary nutrients for plant growth, the climate of the region, the rainfall, and the vegetation it currently holds

19: Why are soils in humid and tropical areas considered to be poor? What happens to them after deforestation? There is a large amount of rainfall, it would be difficult to reforest 20: What is the problem with soils in semi-arid regions? They swell when they retain moisture, and shrink in heat, creating cracks 21: Why are coarse-grained soils more susceptible to erosion that soils that contain more clay? The spaces in between the grains allow water to move easily through 22: Soil Horizons: Define each of the soil horizons Horizon O: Mostly organic material, decomposed or decomposing leaves and twigs Horizon A: mineral and organic materials, leaching occurs here Horizon E: light colored materials, leaching occurs here as well Horizon B: rich in materials leached from other horizons Horizon C: partially weathered plant material, some rock Horizon R: Unaltered (not weathered) rock/bedrock Restoring Our Soils 23: What is the difference between organic and inorganic (artificial) fertilizers? Organic: animal manure, inorganic: chemical additives 24: Define the following: Macronutrient: chemical element required by all living things in large amounts Micronutrient: chemical element required in small amounts Limiting Factor: the element or chemical that is needed for growth, the only element/factor restricting growth Controlling Pests 25: In the U.S, how much of the potential harvest is lost to pests? US: 1/3 potential harvest, 1/10 of actual harvest 26: What is the definition of a weed? A plant in a place where it is not wanted to be

Pesticides 27: What are the differences between inorganic and organic pesticides? Inorganic pesticides are chemicals not used naturally in farms, and are usually broad-affecting, organic pesticides are used multiple times, but arise with resistances, and are normally specifically targeted 28: What are some of the reasons why pesticides are considered to be ineffective? Most give rise to pests that are resistant after use 29: Define Integrated Pest Management (IPM) AND explain HOW it works: Using organisms that are predators or resistant to the pest within, this eliminates pests by consumption from a predator or toxins through toxic plants 30: What is the use of biological control and give an example: Use of a species that is a natural enemy of another, BT 31: What was the “green revolution”? Period that came with the rise of genetically modified crops Genetically Modified Food: Biotechnology, Farming and Environment 32: What are the 3 practices of genetic engineering? Faster and more efficient ways to develop hybrids, introduction of the terminator gene, and the transfer of genetic properties 33: What are the PROS and CONS of developing hybrid crops? Can create new efficient ways of growing, may require less , and increase productivity. Adversely, can become pests, may require more 34: What is the terminator gene and what does it do? Makes seeds from a crop sterile, used to eliminate the spreading of a GM crop 35: What are the political and social concerns with companies using seeds with terminator genes? Farmers cannot afford new seeds every year, lowers food production 36: How are GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) helpful? Removes use of pesticides and herbicides, “safer”, cost less when produced in the field 37: How can GMO’s be harmful? Unknown additives like allergens and unknown proteins

Aquaculture 38: What is aquaculture and how can it be helpful? Farming of an important source in marine and aquatic systems 39: What is mariculture? Farming of ocean fish 40: How can aquaculture and mariculture be harmful to the environment? Release wastes like pesticides, damage diversity Critical Thinking Issue: Will There Be Enough Water to Produce Food for a Growing Population? 1: How might dietary changes in developed countries affect water availability? New crops may require new amounts of water 2: How might global warming affect estimates of the amount of water needed to grow crops in the 21st century? Plants may have more evaporated water, and will need more water to stay hydrated 3: Withdrawing water from aquifers faster than the replacement rate is sometimes referred to as “mining water”. Why do you think this term is used? Most resources that are mined are nonrenewable, giving it the sense that the water is becoming nonrenewable 4: Many countries in warm areas of the world are unable to raise enough food, such as wheat, to supply their populations. Consequently, they import wheat and other grains. How is this equivalent to importing water? The products they import are only unachievable in their areas because of a lack of water 5: Malthusians are those who believe that sooner or later, unless population growth is checked, there will not be enough food for the world’s people. Anti-Malthusians believe that technology will save the human race from a Malthusian fate. Analyze the issue of water supply for agriculture from both points of view. Malthusian: the water is being exploited and countries are preparing to have overused it, showing it is inevitable; there will not be enough to support agriculture when drinking water and other commodities are more important Anti-Malthusian: Modern tech is giving rise to new conservation methods every day, and sooner or later, humanity will have a wake-up call and the need for conservation will be recognized Interactive Soil Pyramid- Understand How to Calculate the Soil Composition Type go to: http://courses.soil.ncsu.edu/resources/physics/texture/soiltexture.swf Understand and Using Soil Pyramids

go to: http://soils.usda.gov/technical/aids/investigations/texture/ Directions: Using the Soil Pyramid Program- Identify the Type of Soil with the Following Percent Compositions: Sand: 30 Clay: 30 Silt: 40 Answer: Clay Loam Sand: 45 Clay: 10 Silt: 45 Answer: Sandy Clay Understand Soils in Biomes Around the World Go to: https://php.radford.edu/~swoodwar/biomes/ Directions: Determine the Type of Soils that are Characteristics of Each Specific of These Terrestrial Biomes and List Why? Tundra: No soil because of permafrost Taiga (Boreal Forest): acidic, due to trees above Temperate Broadleaf Deciduous: slight acidity, extremely leached, soil found to be useful and most fertile Mediterranean Scrub: Fertile and vulnerable due to fires Temperate Grassland: Mild leaching, high organic content, and concentration of calcium carbonate, due to calcification Scrubland: Coarse sandy, dry with little rain and vegetation Tropical Rainforest: Infertile, acidic, large amounts of leaching due to rainfall Tropical Savannah: Low fertility, dry landscape, sparse vegetation, not much rainfall Control of Soil Erosiongo to: http://www2.kenyon.edu/projects/farmschool/types/tillage.htm Directions: Define and describe each of the alternative methods to traditional soil tillage Windbreaks: Some farmers plant trees along the borders of their fields to cut down on wind erosion. Cover Crops: plant crops that will grow during the most erosive fall and spring months

Grassed Waterways: To keep the soil in these depressions from running away with the water, farmers plant grassy strips. Excess water is absorbed by the grass rather than acting as an erosion agent. Contour Cultivation: produces furrows that are perpendicular or at an angle to the slope of the field. The irregular surface of the field breaks up the flow of water and makes it more difficult for water to erode the soil. Strip Cropping: Farmers may decide to alternate a field with strips of different crops or fallow Forages: Forage crops are included in a rotation to cut down on erosion Conservation Tillage: leave stalks and leaves of the harvested crops on their fields, protects the underlying soil from wind and rain during the fall and winter until a new crop is planted in the spring No-Till: farmers leave all of the last crop's residue in the soil while planting the new crop Ridge Tillage: use special machinery to form the soil into ridges and then plant the seeds on top of the ridges