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Agriculture2011

Agriculture2011 - 1 Growing our food • Environmental...

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Unformatted text preview: 9/20/2011 1 Growing our food • Environmental impacts of agriculture • Pollinators in peril Southern Plains Video 1: Dust Bowl Era, Discovery Channel Video 1: Dust Bowl Era, Discovery Channel The Dust Bowl "Approximately 35 million acres of formerly cultivated land have essentially been destroyed for crop production. . . . 125 million acres of land now in crops are rapidly losing topsoil. . .” 9/20/2011 2 Lessons from the Dust Bowl Era • Soil is the key to food production • Aggressive farming can cause soil erosion and intensify drought • Government can encourage soil conservation Origins of agriculture: 10,000 yrs ago What do people eat? • ~ 400,000 plant species known • In US, 200 species grown as crops • 14 spp. form bulk of human diets • Wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, soy, Agroecosystems • Monoculture • Regular arrangement • Plowed soils • Chemical applications Soil… … Not just Dirt! “Civilization itself rests upon the soil”- Thomas Jefferson 9/20/2011 3 Soil profile (horizons) Litter Topsoil Subsoil Transition zone/parent material Soil erosion...
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Agriculture2011 - 1 Growing our food • Environmental...

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