103+Lecture+10 - Geographies of Agriculture Geography 103 6...

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Geographies of Agriculture Geography 103 6 October, 2011
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Agriculture The tilling of crops (plants and fungi) and rearing of domesticated animals food, feed, drink, fiber, and other products used to sustain life The fundamental encounter between nature and culture Employs 40% of all workers on the globe Except for few hunter-gatherers , keeps everyone alive and enables cities
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Pre-Industrial Agriculture Production for subsistence : own or local consumption Labor-intensive : Work accomplished In pre-industrial agricultural societies, most people are farmers or farm laborers Often the job of women Uses diversity of strains of plants through seed saving
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Industrial Agriculture Mechanization : machines do what humans used to 1910: 1000 tractors in use 1965: 4.8 million Production for market exchange Vastly increased output Origins in closing of American Frontier: increased production had to come from higher yields
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Industrial Agriculture Relies on few highly productive, shippable hybrid varieties Often source of processed food : commercially prepared food for ease of consumption Output travels long distances cool chains : refrigeration technologies for transport of fresh food food miles : the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer
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Swidden Cultivation Old English for “burned clearing”—aka “slash and burn” or “shifting cultivation” Farming on poor soils in forest clearings When soil is exhausted, farmers move on
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103+Lecture+10 - Geographies of Agriculture Geography 103 6...

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