Bio. Farming & Agriculture (Lecture 11, Unit 2)

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What are some abiotic issues farmers have to deal with?

Soil degradation and irrigation

What are some biotic issues farmers have to deal with?

Insect pests and weeds

What is soil degradation?

Anything where soil becomes unfavorable

What is erosion?

The removal of soil by wind and water

What are some direct causes of erosion?

Water runoff=mudslides; wind=soil blows away

What is deposition?

The arrival of eroded material at a new location

What makes farms vulnerable to erosion?

Mostly annual plants are planted as crops; tiling the soil leaves dirt loose; livestock overgraze; crops are often planted in rows

What is topsoil?

The nutrient-rich layer beneath the leaf litter where plants grow

What is the difference between annual plant root length and perennial root length?

Annual plants have shallow roots; Perennial plants have long roots that keep the soil in place

What does "tiling the soil" mean?

Mixing the soil up before planting

What is the problem with tiling the soil?

It leaves nothing to hold the soil in place

What is the problem with crops being planted in lines?

Creates a line for water to run off in while carrying the soil with it

How can erosion be reduced?

Planting perennials around the forest

Where does soil come from in nature?

Decomposition, nitrification, weathering of rocks

What nutrients do plants need from the soil? How much of each nutrient is needed?

Macronutrients (large amounts), secondary macronutrients (medium amounts), micronutrients (small amounts)

What is soil compaction?

The compression of soil by either natural weight of overlaying sediments or human-related forces

What are three (3) types of legumes?

Soybeans, alfalfa, green beans

What is a synthetic fertilizer?

Derived from chemical processes in a lab

What is an organic fertilizer?

Tied up in a larger, naturally-occuring source

Are there bad side effects to using synthetic fertilizers? If so, what are they?

Yes. They leach into drinking water, they runoff into waterways and cause algae blooms

What is eutrophication?

Depletion of oxygen in the water from massive decomposition of algae in water

Is Ammonia harmful?

It isn't too bad, it doesn't directly hurt us in small amounts

What is the problem to mostly annual plants being planted as crops? What is the solution?

Problem: They don't hold very much soil in place
Solution: Add some perennials to the crops

What is the problem with tiling the soil? What is the solution?

Problem: Leaves dirt loose and vulnerable to being blown away
Solution: No till agriculture

What are shelter/wind belts?

Plants that block wind flow

What is the problem with livestock overgrazing? What is a solution?

Problem: Decrease in plant growth
Solution: Limit the amount of time grazers spend on a plot of grass

What is pivot farming?

Crops planted on flat surfaces. Reduces runoff because runoff is caught in all directions by crops

What is contour farming?

Crops planted in land with a gentle slope and follows the natural slope of the hillsides.

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