Agriculture AP Human Geography
Essential Questions • What are the origins of agriculture? • How do MDC’s and LDC’s differ in terms of agriculture? • What are different types of agriculture? • How do we feed a growing global population? • What impact does commercial agriculture have on the environment?
Meaning of Agriculture • Latin agricultura • Ager= field • Cultura= cultivation • Cultivation/ tilling of the field • The intentional growth and processing of plants and animals for food, fibers, and other by-products. • May be for sustenance or economic gain.
Hunter/ Gatherer Society • Pre- agriculture (10,000 BC to 3,000 BC) • Early humans • Hunting • Animals, fish • Gathering • Nuts, berries, wild plants, fruits, roots • Life centered around finding food for survival • Small groups moved based on access to food • ¼ million people today in remote parts of the world.
Origins of Agriculture • Accident? • Multiple hearths 5,000 to 10,000 years ago • 1st Agricultural Revolution (Neolithic) • End of H&G, planting of seeds • Southwest Asia (Middle East) • Barley, wheat, olives, cattle, goats, pig, sheep • Africa • Sorghum, yams • East Asia • Rice, millet • Latin America • Beans, potato, cotton, squash, maize (corn)
Other Major Developments • 2nd Agricultural Revolution • 1800’s in Europe • Same time as Industrial Revolution • Focus on creating food surpluses to feed factory workers. • 3rd Agricultural Revolution (GREEN REVOLUTION) • Started in 1930’s in U.S. Midwest • Genetic modification of seeds • Fertilizers • Increased crop yields, less hunger • Environmental hazards/ decreased biodiversity
Two Types of Ag Today: Subsistence and Commercial Subsistence Commercial Food is sold to larger company, who sells to producer. Profit Single crop (wheat, corn) MDC’s 5% farmers Machinery/ transportation/ fertilizers A few large farms • Food is consumed by farmer’s family, maybe locals. • Survival • Variety of crops • LDC’s • 50% farmers • Basic tools and techniques • Many small farms
Agribusiness • The businesses involved in food production. • “Corporate owned farms” • Farmers themselves don’t make lots of $$$ but owners of corporations do. • Companies include: Monsanto, Cargill, John Deere,
Shifting Cultivation (Slash and Burn) • Practiced in tropical and sub- tropical climate zones (warm, lots of rain) • Land is cleared of larger trees by cutting and burning….potash fertilizes soil. • Soil is farmed for a few years then a new area is cleared. • Common crops: rice, corn, cassava, yams, sugarcane. • Traditionally, land was owned by village; private ownership is becoming more common. • Deforestation, global warming, erosion.
Pastoral Nomadism • Subsistence agriculture based on herding animals • Camels, goats, sheep…depends on environment. • Milk, hides, not always meat • Southwest Asia, N. Africa (drier areas) • Very spread out • Nomad= one who wanders/ no home • 15 million worldwide • Transhumance- migration of animals between highland (mountains) and lowland (valleys.)
Intensive Subsistence Agriculture • Found in densely populated areas of East, Southeast, and South Asia. • Small, fragmented plots of land • High agricultural density= waste no land • Careful agricultural practices produce highest yields of crops. • “Get as much as you can from the land”
Wet Rice Farming • Seedlings are grown on dry land and transplanted to “sawahs” or “paddys”, which are flooded fields. • Grows best on flat land (valleys) but growth in population has led to terracing. • Small % of land, but most important source of food for Asians. • Time consuming and labor intensive…mostly done by hand.
Terracing • Terraces are used in farming to cultivate sloped land. • Provides more surface area to grow crops on. • Rice terrace in Philippines