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Agriculture Notes

What are the types of farming?

Livestock & Poultry: Meat, Dairy, and Eggs; Utilizes Rangeland

Agriculture: growing one crop (monoculture) or many crops (polyculture)

Aquaculture: raising aquatic organisms for food

What happens when food isnt available?

Malnutrition: a condition caused by not consuming enough necessary


nutrients

Famine: a food scarcity so widespread that it causes severe malnutrition


throughout large geographic areas

Why do people go hungry?

Crop Failure due to

Drought, Soil Deterioration, Disease

Population size > Crop yield

What happens when food is overabundant?

Overnutrition: Food energy intake exceeds energy use and causes


excess body fat

Similar health problems to those who are underfed

Lower life expectancy

Greater susceptibility to disease and illness

Lower productivity and life quality

How have we farmed in the past?

The first agricultural revolution began as early as 9000 BC

Nomads Settlements

Cross pollination first began

Grew enough to support


family & trade

How did the Green Revolution change farming?

GOALS:

STOP HUNGER

INCREASE crop yield

Minimize Crop Losses/Failure

METHODS:

New, high-yield grain varieties

Pesticides

Fertilizers

Better Management Practices

More technologically advanced machinery

Vision: Treat agriculture as a business (agribusiness). Plant a large amount of


a single species (monocropping)

DRAWBACKS:

Too expensive

Air, soil, and water pollution due to toxic chemicals

Uneven distributionpoorer countries still cant transport food

Pesticide Resistance

Practices of Conventional Farming (Since Green Revolution)

Maximize OutputHigh Efficiency

Minimize Space

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS)

Genetically Modified Crops (temperature and chemical resistance)

Heavy equipment (Fossil Fuels)

Chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers)

Tillage

Sustainable Farming Practices

Sustainable Output

Takes more Space

Pasture/Rangeland Feeding

Incorporates more human and animal labor

Minimize Chemical Usage (Biochemicals)

POLYCULTURE

Low Till or No Till

Benefits
Conventional

Lower food costs

Fast production times (more growing seasons in a given year)

Meets increased demand

Sustainable

Healthier for humans and organisms alike

Higher quality foods (in terms of energy)

Conserves energy and water resources

Lower biodiversity/environmental impact

Risks/Impact
Conventional

Biodiversity/Habitat Degradation

Soil, Water, and Air Pollution

Erosion/Desertification

Energy and Water Loss

Contamination of Human Foods

Pesticide and Antibiotic Resistance

Sustainable

Higher food costs

Low yield

Decreased availability

More susceptible to storms, pests, changes in environment, etc.