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 Classifying Agricultural Regions

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Posts : 191
Join date : 2008-09-24

PostSubject: Classifying Agricultural Regions   12/03/09, 09:53 pm

Food Production 2002
o Top crops are maize, rice and wheat
o Top meats are pork, poultry, and beef and veal
o Soybeans planted and ground back into soil for nutrients
o US #1 exporter of wheat, also big are Canada and France
o Italy #1 Importer of wheat, also Japan, Brazil, Iran
o Rice importers- Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Iraq
o Rice exporters- Thailand, Vietnam, US
o Maize importers- Japan, S. Korea, Mexico
o Maize exporters- US, Argentina, France

Developed countries undercut free markets in agriculture
o Farmers in MDCs are paid a average of 2/3 more than the free market would provide
o These subsidies to the world’s richest farmers directly damage the agricultural economies of poorest nations
o Despite this, the US congress and Pres. Bush actually increased farm subsides in 2002

Agricultural Revolution
o Technology allows greater production with less human labor, but has high social and environmental costs
o Metal plows --> Reapers --> cotton gin--> tractors--> combines--> chemical pesticides and fertilizers --> hybrid crops--> genetically modified crops

o Modern commercial farming is very dependent on inputs of chemical fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides
o Oil is required to make fertilizer and pesticides
o It takes 10 cal of energy to make 1 cal of food in modern agriculture
o Small farmers can’t buy needed equipment and supplies
o Fewer then 2% of the US population works in agriculture, yet US is the leading exporter of agriculture

LDC Agriculture

PracticeDefinintion Where Crops/Animals Problems Extra
Shifting cultivation Vegetation is slashed and then burned. Soil remains fertile for 2-3 years. Then people move on.Tropical rainforests, Amazon, Central West Africa, SE Asia
Upland rice (SE Asia), maize(S. America), millet and sorghum (Africa) Desertification, losing rainforestDeclining at the hand of ranching and logging
Pastoral Nomadism The breeding and herding of domesticated animals for subsistence Arid and semi-arid areas, Inuit, Sahel of Africa, south Africa, desert or difficult terrainCamel, goats, sheep, cattle Nomads are being pressured into sedentary life as land is used for agriculture or mining Transhumance- seasonal migrations from highlands to lowlands
Intensive Subsistence Agriculture Labor intensive production of a crop, usually wet rice SE Asia, E India, SE China WET RICEHard work Grown on flat or terraced land, double cropping is used in warm winter areas of S. China and Taiwan
Plantation Farming Large-scale mono cropping of profitable products not able to be grown in Europe or the US Tropical lowland periphery Cotton, sugar cane, coffee, rubber, cocoa, bananas, tea, coconuts, palm oil Nutrients in soil depleted, almost “slave labor”, mostly women working

MDC Agriculture

Practice Definition Where Crops/Animals Problems Extra
Mixed Crop and Livestock Farming Raising livestock and growing crops to feed your own livestock Ohio to Dakotas, centered on Iowa. Much of Europe from France to RussiaCorn (most common), soy beans Highly inefficient-
10 lbs grain per 1 lb beef, 25 gal water per 1 lb wheat,
In US, 80% of food made is used to feed pigs and cattle
Dairy Farming Raising cows for milk Near urban areas in northeast US, SE Canada, and NW Europe cows Milkshed- historically defined by spoilage threat; refrigerated trucks changed that 90% of cows milk is produced in developed countries- profit is added as butter, cheese, etc.
Grain Farming Farming grain Near urban areas in northeast US, SE Canada, and NW Europe
Worldwide, but US and Russia dominate. N. Hem
o Winter- Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma
o Spring- Dakotas, Montana, S. Canada
Wheat Highly mechanized- combines
Livestock Ranching Arid or semiarid areas of Western US, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Portugal Cows, goats, cattle, sheep Overgrazing leads to desertification, and destruction of the rainforest in Brazil is motivated by the want for ranches Initially open range, now sedentary with transportation changes
Mediterranean Agriculture Areas around the Med. Sea, California. Highly valuable crops- olives, grapes, nuts, fruits vegetables, winter wheat High quality land being lost to suburbanization, initially offset by immigration Climate-
Summer dry seasons, landscape is mountainous
Commercial gardening and fruit farming Southeast US, New England, near cities around the world High profit vegetables and fruits demanded by urban population- apples, asparagus, cherries, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Mechanization such as truck farming; reducing labor costs by the use of cheap and sometimes illegal immigrant labor
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