The deliberate effort to modify a portion of Earth's surface through the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock for sustenance or economic gain.
Agriculture designed primarily to provide food for direct consumption by the farmer and the farmer's family.
Agriculture undertaken primarily to generate products for sale off the farm. This usually involves big business and the use of heavy machinery.
Commercial agriculture characterized by integration of different steps in the food-processing industry, usually through ownership by large corporations. Agricultural goods and processed foods are mass-produced.
A form of subsistence agriculture in which people shift activity from one field to another; each field is used for crops for relatively few years (until they have depleted the nutrients) and left fallow for a relatively long period (to move to fresher fields with more productive soil).
Another name for shifting cultivation, so named because fields are cleared by slashing the vegetation and burning the debris. This type of farming requires farmers to move fields every fee years.
Intensive Subsistence Agriculture
A form of subsistence agriculture in which farmers must expend a relatively large amount of effort to produce the maximum feasible yield from a parcel of land.
Rice planted on dryland in a nursery and then moved to a deliberately flooded field to promote growth.
The practice of rotating use of different fields from crop to crop each year, to avoid exhausting the soil. Different crops consume different nutrients, so rotating them gives the soil a chance to replenish the nutrients used each year.
A large farm in tropical and subtropical climates that specializes in the production of one or two crops for sale, usually to a more developed country.
Commercial gardening and fruit farming, so named because truck was a Middle English word meaning batering or the exchange of commodities. These commercial farms produce large quantities of fruits and vegetables to be transported and sold to food processors, who package and freeze them to sell to consumers.
System of planting crops on ridge tops, in order to reduce farm production costs and promote greater soil conservation.
Degradation of land, especially in semiarid areas, primarily because of human actions like excessive crop planting, animal grazing, and tree cutting.
Rapid diffusion of new agricultural technology, especially new high-yield seeds and fertilizers.
Farming methods that preserve long-term productivity of land and minimize pollution, typically by rotating soil- restoring crops with cash crops and reducing in-puts of fertilizer and pesticides.
This imaginary line serves as a boundary that determines what types of crops may be grown in China. North of the line, farmers grow wheat, and noodles make up the main food. South of the line, farmers grow rice as the primary crop.
Extensive Subsistence Agriculture
Agriculture and livestock raised for family use on large shifting areas of land. Families depend on crops and animals farmed for their survival and use a minimal amount of labor across wide areas. Nomadic herding and shifting cultivation are examples of this type of agriculture. This type of farming may result in erosion and other environmental problems.
Type of animal husbandry involves moving herds seasonally to lands that can best support them. For example, herders may move their herds to warmer lands in the winter and to cooler lands in the summer. This is a form of subsistence farming.
Type of commercial farming requires a moderate climate with dry summers and cool, wet, winters. Examples of crops raised include dates, grapes, and olives.
Market Gardening Activities
Type of farming that refers to the raising of large, bulky crop items suchu as melons, close to marketplaces. These activities must take place near markets so that crops do not spoil or incur great expense to transport.
Large farms that focus on animal husbandry, specifically the raising of cattle and hogs. Each lot may house thousands of heads of cattle or hogs. Feedlots produce large quantities of animal wastes that can contaminate local water sources.
Refers to the industrialization of farming, the process includes the increasing use of machines and other mechanized processes in agriculture in order to increase profits.
Types of farms that rely on migrant workers who do not live on the farm. The people who own these farms do not live or work on them.
The production and sale of foods and fibers using only natural farming methods, including composting, crop rotation, green manure, and biological pest control. It excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Fish farming. Fish farmers sell fish that have been raised in pools and other contained waterways.
Local Food Production
Processes including farming and animal husbandry that are completed locally to produce food for local consumption.
Ways in which people transport water to land to irrigate their fields. People may dig ditches, canals, or use more advanced irrigation systems to keep their crops watered.
Growing three crops on the same field in a given year. Farmers who practice this method hope to triple their harvest.
People clearing rocks and weeds from fields by hand. Farmers work in rows and use manual tools such as hoes, shovels, and rakes.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's)
Plants and animals that have been changed at the genetic level. Scientists change their DNA to increase the plants and animals size, yield, or make them more disease-resistant. Also called biotechnology or genetic engineering.
First Aglricultural Revolution
Period in time when people began shifting from hunting and gathering to farming. As a result, people became more sedentary and their populations increased. The transition took place in many societies between 10,000-12,000 years ago. (Also called Neolithiic Ag Rev)
Second Agricultural Revolution
Period in time when farming improved do to the increased mechanization, transportation, and production that ocurred as a result of the industrial revolution. Crop production increased, resulting in population growth. This transition began during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Also known as the third agricultural revolution, it refers to the use of genetic engineering and biotechnology in farming. Scientists increased size, productivity, disease resistance, and the ability to grow in challenging environments.
Von Thunen's Model of Agricultural Land Use
Land use model proposed by Johann Heinrich von Thunen, states that crops grown on commercial farms are selected based on their proximity to markets, the cost of transporting them to those markets, and the value of the crops relative to the value of the land. According too this model, crops that are difficult or costly to tramsport are grown closer to markets than those that may be transported more efficiently.
Reproduction of plants through annual introduction of seeds which result from sexual fertilization. The taking of seeds from existing plants and planting them to produce new plants.
Reproduction of plants by direct cloning from existing plants, such as cutting stems and dividing roots.
Conducted pioneering research on the origins and dispersal of plant and animal domestication. (Vegetative planting). Came up with the original agriculture hearths. Sedentary Hypothesis: in areas with rich resources, people become more sedentary and could focus on new kinds of foods.
The unique way in which each culture uses its particular physical environment; those aspects of culture that serve to provide the necessities of life--- food, clothing, shelter, and defense.
changes made to the environment. e.g., the use of pesticides to grow crops and the effects it has on the soil and environment; soil erosion and desertification caused by changes made to the environment.
Distinct regional approach to land surveying found in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Louisiana, and Texas whereby land is divided into narrow parcels stretching back from rivers, roads, and canals. (Access to water)
Metes and Bounds
A system of land surveying east of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a system that relies on descriptions of land ownership and natural features such as streams or trees. Because of the imprecise nature of this surveying, the U.S. Land Office Survey abandoned the technique in favor of the rectangular survey system.
Township and Range
A rectangular land division scheme designed by Thomas Jefferson to disperse settlers evenly across farmlands of the U.S. interior, also called rectangular survey system.
Dispersed Rural Settlement
A type of settlement form where people live relatively distant from each other.
Nucleated (Clustered) Rural Settlement
A relatively dense settlement form, allocate every available foot of land for farming.
Linear Rural Settlement
Buildings clustered along a road, dike etc. and a narrow field behind them. Called long lot by French.