20821230-IBWG-Modern-Agricultural-Practices-Notes -...

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Unformatted text preview: http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ February 5, 2009 5th Period APHG Modern Agricultural Practices Many scholars believe humans evolved through the process of first hunter -gatherers they then hunter-gatherers, domesticated animals, and developed pastoral nomadism. Only with the domestication of plants, did animals nomadism mankind begin the practice of settled agriculture which is much more productive. Settled agriculture yields a agriculture, greater and more secure quantity of food. Subsistence agriculture – agriculture to feed oneself and family – eventually yielded to commercial agriculture – which is raising food as a product for sale sale. Agricultural polyculture is the process of raising numerous different crops to meet all subsistence farming needs. Depending upon the area, this process may not be very effective and it is definitely not as efficient effective, efficient. crop, Agricultural monoculture is the specialization of one crop and for many farmers has become the most efficient method of farming. Specialization of one crop allows the farmer to grow a crop that is most beneficial for him depending upon the soil, climate, local markets, etc. With the money produced from the sale of the specialty crop, the farmer can then buy the necessary foods to sustain his family. The major difference between subsistence and commercial agriculture is that subsistence farming usually relies on enormous investments in human labor with little animal or machine power. Because it is lower in labor, technology, the productivity levels are low low. Types of Agriculture Modern Modern commercial farming relies upon substantial capital investments in machinery, chemicals, seeds, and livestock. Average commercial farms are growing rapidly in size, due to the need to get maximum use out of the equipment Commercial farm products are typically sold to large companies that process, equipment. package, store, distribute, and retail food. A rising percentage of these farms are being sold to these “agribusiness” corporations. In 2000, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) claimed that 3.75 billion acres of the Earth’s land were devoted to crop production (11% and 8.4 billion were devoted to permanent pasture (26% Cereals 11%), 26%). 11% 26% are the basic foods, and every major civilization has been founded on them. They yield more food, both in produce, store, transport. bulk and nutritional value, than most other crops. They are also easy to produce store and transport Nomadic Herding Nomads depend primarily on animals rather than crops. For the relatively few numbers of pastoral nomads (12-15 million the method may still be a successful low-technology adaptation to arid or semiarid 1212 million), environments vironments. Africa, East, Asia. environments The primary locations for nomadism are North Africa the Middle East and Central Asia These nomads do not wander aimlessly. They have a strong sense of territoriality and often plant small crops in specific locations, only to return to them later for harvest. Many governments are forcibly settling these nomads so that they can control them and minimize their impact on the country’s resources. resources Low-Technology Subsistence Farming The least intensive type of farming is swidden cultivation, which is “slash and burn Patches of land are intensive burn.” slash stripped and fires are set to clear the land for planting. The ashes contain potash a simple fertilizer that potash, http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ February 5, 2009 5th Period APHG Modern Agricultural Practices allows production with just a simple stick or hoe. The land is depleted in a few years (2 – 3), and the farmers leave the land to be reclaimed by the forest. Asia. Intensive rice farming is practiced in the most populated areas of Asia The lands are controlled by descendants of farmers, and individual ‘crops’ may be very small. Human labor is abundant, and capital investment is scarce About half of the world’s population subsists wholly or partially on wet rice Fields are scarce. rice. flooded (sawah and hillsides are terraced to retain the water for the rice to grow. sawah), sawah Pulses Pulses are a family of trees, shrubs, and herbs that produce seeds such as beans, peas, peanuts, carob, and most importantly: soybeans are grown in many parts of Asia These are rich in protein and serve as a soybeans, Asia. replacement for meat. livestock Mixed farming with livestock is the dominant form of agriculture in the world today. Much of the crops are fed to the livestock and during non-agricultural seasons, livestock is used to produce income Along with livestock, income. meat production, numerous other goods are produced from livestock. Crop rotation is used heavily to replenish the fields. Commercial grain farms are grown primarily for consumption by humans. This production is located in very few countries, and the farms are located in areas too dry for mixed crops with livestock. Wheat crops are the most important because they supply about 20% of the total calorie consumption of the human species. ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course CH 101 taught by Professor Sutcliffe during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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