Agriculture - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Agriculture Definition, origins, classification Agriculture in LDCs Agriculture in MDCs I. Definition, origins, classification Agriculture: Deliberate modification of a portion of earth’s surface through cultivation of plants or raising animals

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  • Definition, origins, classification

  • Agriculture in LDCs

  • Agriculture in MDCs

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I. Definition, origins, classification

  • Agriculture:

    • Deliberate modification of a portion of earth’s surface through cultivation of plants or raising animals

    • To obtain sustenance (LDCs) or for economic gain (MDCs)

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  • Hunting and gathering:

    • Small groups, fewer than 50 people

    • Today, only ¼ million people still survive by hunting and gathering

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  • Invention of agriculture

    • Accident and deliberate experiment

    • Two types of cultivation:

      • Vegetative planting: cloning from existing plants

      • Seed agriculture: came later, planting of seeds, practiced by most farmers today

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  • Hearths: agriculture began in multiple, independent hearths (points of origin) (Carl Sauer)

    • Vegetative planting

      • Southeast Asia

      • West Africa

      • NW South America

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  • Seed agriculture

    • 3 hearths in the Eastern Hemisphere

      • Western India

      • Northern China

      • Ethiopia

    • 2 hearths in Western Hemisphere

      • Southern Mexico/Mesoamerica (squash and corn)

      • Northern Peru

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The Fertile Crescent

  • Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

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  • Advantages of the Fertile Crescent

    • 1. Mediterranean climate

    • 2. Numerous edible and productive plants

    • 3. Self pollinate, cross pollinate

    • 4. Wide range of elevations

    • 5. Numerous large animals

    • 6. East-west axis

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Classifying agricultural regions

  • Difference between LDCs (subsistence) and MDCs (commercial)

  • 1. Subsistence agriculture: growing food for consumption by farmer’s family

  • 2. Commercial agriculture: growing food for sale off the farm (machinery and technology)

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Today the US is losing farmland1.2 million acres per year of a total of 1 billion acres

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urban expansion

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  • Commercial farming in the US and other MDCs is called agribusiness

    • Agribusiness includes processing, packaging, storing, distributing, and retailing; tractor manufacturing, fertilizer production, seed distribution…

    • Farmers are less than 2% of the US labor force

    • But 20% of US labor works in food production and service

    • Many aspects of agribusiness are controlled by large corporations

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II. Agriculture in LDCs

  • Shifting cultivation

    • Humid low-latitude/tropical zones (high temp and rainfall), low population density

    • 2 types

      • Slash-and-burn: clearing land by cutting vegetation and burning debris (tropical zones)

      • Rotation: using a field for a few years, then leaving it fallow for many years

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  • Pastoral nomadism

    • A form of subsistence agriculture based on herding domesticated animals

    • Dry climates, where crops can’t grow, low population density

    • Most in arid and semi-arid land in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia (Eastern Hemisphere)

    • Transhumance: seasonal migration of livestock between mountains (summer) and lowland pastures (winter)

    • Pasture: land used for grazing, and grass or other plants grown for feeding grazing animals

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  • Intensive subsistence agriculture

    • Farmers must work more intensively to subsist on a parcel of land

    • Farms are smaller, so more pressure for productivity

    • Practiced in densely populated areas (East, South, and Southeast Asia)

    • Wet rice dominant: mostly in river valleys and deltas, or in flat or terraced fields

    • Wet rice not dominant: climate prevents farmers from growing wet rice in parts of Asia, where summer precipitation is low and winters are harsh

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  • Plantation farming

    • A form of commercial agriculture in tropics and subtropics (Latin America, Africa, Asia)

    • Mostly in LDCs, but many owned by people in MDCs, and most products for sale in MDCs

    • Plantation: a large farm that specializes in one or two crops

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III. Agriculture in MDCs

  • Mixed crop and livestock

    • Most crops fed to animals

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  • Crop rotation systems

    • Farm split into fields, and each field planted on a planned cycle, often several years (1 year fallow and cycle is repeated)

    • Different from shifting agriculture in LDCs because LDCs leave fields fallow for many years and productivity is lower

    • 2-field crop rotation system (Northern Europe, 5th century)

      • Cereal grain planted in Field A for one year, Field B fallow

    • 3-field system (8th century)

      • Field 1 planted with a winter cereal, Field 2 a spring cereal, Field 3 left fallow

    • 4-field system (NW Europe, 18th century)

      • First year: root crop in Field 1, cereal in Field 2, rest crop in Field 3, and cereal in Field 4

      • Second year: cereal in Field 1, rest crop in 2, cereal in 3, and root in 4

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  • Dairy farming

    • Dairy used to be consumed on farms or in rural villages, but in the 19th century demand from urban residents increased

    • Dairy farms locate near urban areas: the ring surrounding a city from which milk can be supplied without spoiling is known as the milkshed

      • Before the 1840s, milksheds had a radius of less than 30 miles

      • Today milk can be transported more than 300 miles

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Von Thunen Model

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  • Grain farming

    • Grain: the seed from various grasses, like wheat, corn, oats, barley, rice, millet, and others

    • Grain is the major crop on most farms

    • Different from mixed crop and livestock farming because crops on a grain farm are grown primarily for consumption by humans

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  • Wheat

    • Benefits:

      • Can be sold for a higher price

      • Has more uses than other grains

      • Can be stored easily

      • Can be transported a long distance

    • Grown extensively for international trade and the world’s leading export crop

    • The US and Canada account for half the world’s wheat exports

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  • In North America, large-scale grain production is concentrated in 3 areas:

    • 1. Winter-wheat belt (Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma): planted in fall, harvested in summer

    • 2. Spring-wheat belt (Dakotas, Montana, southern Saskatchewan): planted in spring, harvested in summer

    • 3. Palouse region in Washington state

    • The result in the US is a staggered harvest, starting in the south and progressing north

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  • Livestock ranching

    • Ranching: the commercial grazing of livestock over an extensive area (semiarid and arid land in MDCs)

    • The only European countries involved in cattle ranching are Spain and Portugal

    • Outside the US: Spain and Portugal, Argentina and Brazil, and Australia

    • Ranching has gone through stages

      • Herding of animals over open ranges (seminomadic)

      • Fixed farming by dividing land into ranches

      • Farms converted to growing crops and ranching confined to drier lands

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  • Mediterranean agriculture

    • Where?

      • Lands that border the Mediterranean Sea in southern Europe, North Africa, and western Asia

      • Also in CA, Chile, South Africa, and Australia

      • Every area borders a sea

      • Sea winds provide moisture and moderate the winter, summers are hot and dry

      • Land is hilly and mountainous

    • Tree crops and horticulture (the growing of fruits, vegetables, and flowers)

      • Olives, grapes, fruit, vegetables, citrus, tree nuts

    • Half the land devoted to growing cereals (wheat for pasta and bread)

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