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Key Issue 3

Where are agricultural regions in MDC?

- divided into 6 main types:
o mixed crop and livestock farming
o dairy farming
o grain farming
o livestock ranching
o Mediterranean ag
o Commercial gardening and fruit farming
o Plantation farming

- most common form of commercial ag in west and central US and in Europe

- most distinctive characteristic: its integration of crops and livestock
- most crops are fed to animals instead of consumed by humans
- livestock apply manure to improve the soil fertility to grow more crops
- mixed commercial farm devotes almost all of its land to growing crops, but gets ¾ of its
income from animal products
- workload is distributed more evenly throughout the year
- crops need attention only for two or three seasons, livestock whole year
- involves crop rotation
o farm is divided into fields
o each field is planted on in a cycle- over several years
o maintains fertility of a field- some crops deplete resources, others renew it
o production from shifting cultivation is much smaller than production from crop
rotation – more efficient
o two field system with cereal grains: oats, wheat, rye, barley in 5th century

2nd year- 1st year-
barley barley
1st year- fallow 2nd year-

o three field system with cereal grains in 8th century

Winter Spring Fallow
cereal cereal 1st year
1st year 1st year

o four field system with cereal grains in 18th century

Root Cereal Rest Cereal
crop 1 1st and crop 1st 1st and
and 2nd and 2nd 2nd
2ndyear year year year

dairy farms don’t have to be so close anymore .today’s milkshed’s radius is 10x what it was in 1840 ( was 30 miles. and rising cots .most important region in US is from Ohio to the Dakotas. straw kept for animal bedding CHOICE OF CROPS . but most of it is fed to pigs and cattle .Only found in a few other countries. corn. oats.Winter wheat belt: through Kansas. harvested in late summer o 3rd important region is the Palouse Region of Washington State .milkshed: ring surrounding a city from which milk can be supplied without spoiling .become most important type of commercial ag in the first ring outside large cities because of transportation factors .dairy farming requires constant attention GRAIN FARMING . Colorado. millet. and Montana o Planted in the spring.the farther the farm is from large cities. France.countries tend to specialize in certain products . barley.most important crop is wheat GRAIN-FARMING REGIONS . South Saskatchewan in Canada. Argentina.soybeans have become the second most important crop in US DAIRY FARMING . harvested in summer (survives the winter because of a strong root system) .crops on the farm are grown for human consumption mostly . Australia. .some is eaten by people. corn is selected frequently because of higher yields per area than other crops . smaller is the % of output devoted to fresh milk . like wheat. cereals such as wheat and barley were sold for flour and beer Canada.the seed from various grasses. cheese. or dried/evaporated/condensed milk .declining revenues.Spring wheat belt : Dakotas.US is the largest producer of grain (commercially) .grain.most important type of commercial ag WHY DAIRY FARMS LOCATE NEAR URBAN AREAS .in US. rice.choice of product varies within the US dairy region .labor intensive . and Oklahoma o Wheat is planted in autumn. and others .farmersprocessorsconsumer PROBLEMS FOR DAIRY FARMERS . UK .must be closer to their market because milk is highly perishable .farther located farms are more likely to sell output to processors who make butter.called the Corn Belt .economic problems. now 300 miles) REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN DAIRY PRODUCTS .improvements have made milksheds bigger.

and the combine performs 3 operations at once: reaping. mostly on east coast . reaper was invented in 1830s to cut grain in the field.WORLD’S leading export crop LIVESTOCK RANCHING . and cleaning IMPORTANCE OF WHEAT . . threshing.ranching is the commercial grazing of lifestock CATTLE RANCHING IN US POPULAR CULTURE .immigrants from Spain and Portugal started cattle ranching .prominent in pop culture (Hollywood Movies) .cattle ranching in TX actually dominated .expanded because of the demand for beef . grain production is heavily mechanized .cattle were first brought by Columbus .