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Intro to Ag Geography

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  1. Intro to Ag Geography • What is the message of this talk? • What was the most surprising thing you learned? • http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_foley_the_other_inconvenient_truth.html 1

  2. Unit 9 Agriculture 2

  3. Today’s Objectives • Describe the origins of Agriculture, including 1st, 2nd and 3rd Agricultural Revolutions. • Explain the high tech outlook for Agriculture with agribusiness and GMOs. • Differentiate between agriculture in LDCs and MDCs. • Define & describe agriculture regions. 3

  4. Agriculture • Importance of AG • Everyone dependent on food • AG occupies more land area than any other econ activity • AG employs 45% - almost half of world’s labor (in Africa and Asia over 50% are farmers) • W/out AG you could not have any cities or urban areas 4

  5. AG – Intro cont’d • AG practices = one of the most fundamental differences between MDCs and LDCs • Big Questions…. • Where is AG distributed across the earth? • How does farming vary around the globe? • Why does farming vary across the globe? 5

  6. Origins of AG • Agriculture: purposeful modification of earth’s surface to plant crops or raise livestock for human sustenance • AG began when humans domesticated plants and animals for use • Origins of AG predate recorded human history 6

  7. Before AG • Hunter/gatherer societies follow game and seasonal growth 7

  8. 1st AG Revolution • @ 10,000 yrs ago – late 18th C • Domestication – conscious manipulation of plants/animals • Invention of AG evolved slowly and over time through accident and experimentation • 1st rev: • hunter/gatherer to semi-sedentary 8

  9. Carl Sauer • Expert on 1st Rev • Occurred in time of plenty, not famine • Multiple hearths occurred independently in several places • Seed cultivation in Fertile Crescent (Iraq) - @ 10,000 yrs ago • Yams in hill country of SE Asia @ 10,000 yrs ago • Root crops & corn in Mesoamerica (Mayans) @ 5,000 yrs ago • Likely discovered by women by accident 9

  10. 10

  11. 1st AG Revolution – cont’d • AG Diffusion: spread by relocation - migration & colonialism (Columbian Exchange) 11

  12. 1st AG Revolution – cont’d • Today diffusion is hierarchical – starts in research centers of MDCs moves to smaller farms or LDCs • Diff can be bad/accidental (ex: kudzu = the vine that ate the South) 12

  13. AG Diffusion – accidental - kudzu 13

  14. 2nd AG Revolution • Began in W. Eur in 1600s – transformed W. Eur and N. America • Intensified AG by promoting higher yields per acre and per farmer • Used crop rotation, fertilizers, improved collars for draft animals 14

  15. Farmers create surplus, people can live in cities and buy AG products at market • Move from rural to urban 15

  16. 2nd AG revolution – cont’d • Late 1700s = Industrial Revolution – mechanization • Tractors, reapers, threshers replaced human labor • Better transportation – RR, steamboats, refrigerated cars, etc. allows farmers to ship food products further to urban markets 16

  17. 2nd AG rev – cont’d Industrial Revolution – Changes in transportation increase market area for farmers’ produce 17

  18. 3rd AG Rev • The “Green Revolution” • 1940s-1960s • MDCs transfer tech to LDCs • Main practices: • Artificial fertilizer • Irrigation • Insecticides and pesticides • Mechanical machinery • Crossbreeding/hybridization (naturally not in a lab) ….ALL produce higher yields 18

  19. 3rd Rev / Green Rev • Multinational Corps encourage LDCs to focus on specialty crops – monoculture for export instead of producing food for local consumption • Successful in some LDCs but detrimental in others • New tech devastated land • Bad for environment • Unsustainable farming • Changes in social & culture structures 19

  20. Today & the Future…..High Tech AG & Agribusiness • Computerized irrigation, remote sensing, long-term weather predictions, GMO’s • GMOs: genetically modified foods – genes altered in a lab for disease resistance, increased productivity, increased nutritional value • BIG debate…U.S. pro – feed developing world; Europe anti – “Franken food” 20

  21. GMOs 21

  22. Today and Future…. • Agribusiness: multinational giant corporations dominate much of world’s AG market • demise of family farm • AG is BIG, expensive business (control land, tech, machinery, shipping, packaging, etc.) • Globalization of AG: free trade, WTO 22

  23. Geog looks at WHERE crops are produced around the globe….affected by……. • Environment: (Environmental Determinism)…rice needs lots of water, grapes need cool wet winters and hot dry summers, etc. Possibilism…green houses, irrigation • Culture: rice in Asia, corn in MX, wheat in US/Eur, no pork in Middle East, etc. 23

  24. What crops are produced where… • Economic: grow crop that makes greatest profit (von Thunen model) 24

  25. Geog looks at HOW crops grown • Labor Intensive – lots of people and few tools V. Capital Intensive – little human labor, but tools, machinery • Intensive AG- greater yields off smaller areas (future of farming as AG land is lost) V. Extensive AG – needs lots of land, not efficient (wide spread ranching) 25

  26. HOW crops grown – cont’d • Intensive/extensive and capital intensive/labor intensive spectrums are independent of each other…..examples? • Subsistence AG (LDCs) V. Commercial AG (MDCs) …see handout 26

  27. 27

  28. Agriculture Regions 28

  29. AG Regions in LDCs 1.Shifting Cultivation: in rainforests • Slash and Burn: clear land by slashing vegetation and burning debris • Swidden: land that’s been cleared for farming • Land often owned by village not indiv. • Cannot support dense populations • Soil depletes rapidly…leads to deforestation 29

  30. AG in LDCs - • Shifting cultivation – deforestation 30

  31. AG Regions in LDCs 2.) Pastoral Nomadism – nomadic herders • Dry mntn regions of Africa and Asia where harsh climate prevent plants • Herders cover wide area searching for food for herd • Transhumance – seasonal migration • Use animals - food, clothing, milk, skins • Type of animal varies depending on culture and physical region (i.e. camel, sheep, goat, horse, etc.) 31

  32. AG in LDCs - • Pastoral Nomadism 32

  33. AG Regions in LDCs 3.) Intensive Subsistence • High yield for small area of land • Densely pop areas of Asia • Often w/ wet rice in Asia • W/ wheat and barley in India and China • Double cropping – 2 crops/harvests per year • Crop Rotation – preserves soil nutrients 33

  34. AG Regions in LDCs 4.) Plantation Farming • Found in tropics/subtropics • Large farm specializes in 1-2 cash crops (coffee, sugar, cotton) • Often controlled/owned by MDC • Labor comes from LDC • Crops exported for sale, not sold locally 34

  35. AG Regions in MDCs 1.) Mixed Crop/Livestock Farming • Western N. America, S. America, Australia • Integrate crops and livestock – crops (soybeans and corn) fed to animals • Employ crop rotation 35

  36. AG Regions in MDCs 2.) Dairying: • Near large urban areas (NE United States, SE Canada, NW Eur) • Close to city b/c product perishable (esp milk…cheese & butter can come from further away) • Milk Shed - how far out can supply milk w/out spoiling • These farms are expensive and labor intensive 36

  37. AG in MDCs – Dairy Farms 37

  38. AG Regions in MDCs 3.) Grain Farming: wheat, corn, barley, oats, millet • grains grown for human consumption • Sale to manufacturers for food production (cereal, bread, flour) • US – by far greatest exporter of grain (Great Plains = bread basket) 38

  39. AG in MDCs – grain farming 39

  40. AG Regions in MDCs 4.) Livestock Ranching: • Commercial grazing of livestock (cattle – beef) over extensive areas • Big in western US (i.e. ranchers) and Argentina – semi-arid areas 40

  41. AG Regions in MDCs 5.) Mediterranean AG • Mediterranean climates of W. Eur, CA, Chile • Variety of fruits and vegetables for human consumption – olives, grapes, avocadoes, nuts, etc. • Olives and grapes = most valuable cash crops…..olive oil and wine 41

  42. AG in MDCs - Mediterranean 42

  43. AG Regions in MDCs 6.) Truck Farming – commercial gardening and fruit farming • American SE – long growing season and humid • Apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, cherries, etc. • “Truck” was a word for barter and these items were originally produced for local markets…today produced for large scale food processors 43

  44. Truck Farming Apples, squash, lettuce, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, peaches, tomatoes, green beans 44

  45. Bell Ringer • Where did “agriculture” originate and when? • Why is the 3rd agricultural revolution called the Green Revolution? • What are some criticisms of the Green Revolution?

  46. Today’s Objectives • Explain how scientists use genetic engineering to create plants that can survive being sprayed by weedkiller or can create their own pest defenses. • Evaluate what effects these genetically engineered plants may have on the environment. • Speculate on whether the proteins produced by inserted genes might be dangerous, either because the proteins themselves are allergenic or because they might alter the plant's chemistry, making it toxic. • Examine the need for genetically engineered foods, including the claim that these foods will help reduce starvation and improve nutrition in developing countries.

  47. “Harvest of Fear” • What is the difference between traditional plant breeding and breeding done through genetic engineering? • Where do you think genetic engineering is politically/culturally acceptable? For what reasons?

  48. Bell Ringer • Consumers want meat that is ….? • How many different companies were involved in the mislabeled horsemeat? • What do you think are the pros and cons of agribusiness? • When is the next time you are going to eat a burger?!