68 terms



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animal domestication
The process of taming an animal species to be accustomed to humans and human contact
the taming of animals through generations of breeding to live in close association with humans as a pet or work animal
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.
Grain or fruit gathered from a field as a harvest during a particular season.
vegetative planting
earliest form of plant cultivation; reproduction of plants by direct cloning from existing plants, such as cutting stems and dividing roots
seed agriculture
the taking of seeds from existing plants and planting them to produce new plants
subsistence agriculture
Self-sufficient agriculture that is small scale and low technology and emphasizes food production for local consumption, not for trade.
commercial agriculture
term used to describe large scale farming and ranching operations that employ vast land bases, large mechanized equipment, factory-type labor, and the latest technology
prime agricultural land
A designation assigned by U.S. Department of Agriculture defining land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and is also available for these land uses.
The set of economic and political relationships that organize food production for commercial purposes. It includes activities ranging from seed production, to retailing, to consumption of agricultural products.
shifting cultivation
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 and left fallow for a relatively long period.
another name for shifting cultivation, so named because fields are cleared by slashing the vegetation and burning the debris
Land that is prepared for agriculture by using the slash-and-burn method.
A type of agricultural activity based on nomadic animal husbandry or the raising of livestock to provide food, clothing, and shelter.
A way of life, forced by a scarcity of resources, in which groups of people continually migrate to find pastures and water.
The movements of livestock according to seasonal patterns, generally lowland areas in the winter, and highland areas in the summer.
Grazing land for animals
intensive subsistence agriculture
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; practiced in densely populated areas such as East, South, and Southeast Asia
double cropping
growing more than one crop a year on the same land
crop rotation
the practice of alternating the crops grown on a piece of land - for example, corn one year, legumes for two years, and then back to corn.
cereal grain
A grass yielding grain for food. ex. oats, wheat, rye, or barley
The ring surrounding a city from which milk can be supplied without spoiling.
the seeds of plants (such as wheat, corn, and rice) that are used for food
winter wheat
wheat planted in the fall and harvested in the early summer
spring wheat
Wheat planted in the spring and harvested in the late summer.
commercial grazing of livestock over an extensive area
range wars
Typically fought over water rights or grazing rights to unfenced/unowned land, it could pit competing farmers or ranchers against each other
The growing of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
truck farming
Commercial gardening and fruit farming, so named because truck was a Middle English word meaning bartering or the exchange of commodities.
market gardening
The small scale production of fruits, vegetables, and flowers as cash crops sold directly to local consumers. Distinguishable by the large diversity of crops grown on a small area of land, during a single growing season. Labor is done manually.
McCormick reaper
Mechanized the harvest of grains such as wheat, allowing farmers to cultivate larger plots. Started commercial agriculture in the Midwest.
A machine that reaps, threshes, and cleans grain while moving over a field.
debt for nature swap
when agencies such as the World Bank make a deal with third world countries that they will cancel their debt if the country will set aside a certain amount of their natural resources
The cultivation or farming(in controlled conditions) of aquatic species, such as fish. In contrast to commercial fishing, which involves catching wild fish.
collective farm
a farm or group of farms run by the government, as in a communist state
A chemical intended to kill insects and other organisms that damage crops.
A substance used to destroy plants, especially weeds
soil erosion
Movement of soil components, especially topsoil, from one place to another, usually by wind, flowing water, or both. This natural process can be greatly accelerated by human activities that remove vegetation from soil.
growing season
The average number of days between the last frost of spring and the first frost of fall, the season during which a crop grows best
extractive industry
Industries involved in the activities of prospecting, exploring, developing, and producing for non-regenerative natural resources from the Earth
a plot of land on which livestock are fattened for market
staple grains
basic dietary items, such as wheat, rice, or corn. harvested and stored to be eaten all year
tragedy of the commons
situation in which people acting individually and in their own interest use up commonly available but limited resources, creating disaster for the entire community
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.
Ester Boserup
said population density creates more agricultural output and humans will figure out ways of producing more food on the same amount of land rather than starve to death
cash cropping/export crops
the raising of crops for market sale rather than domestic consumption
Von Thunen's model
a model of agricultural land use that illustrates the relationship between the cost of land and transportation costs involved in getting product to market
Neolithic Revolution
(10,000 - 8,000 BCE) The development of agriculture and the domestication of animals as a food source. This led to the development of permanent settlements and the start of civilization.
2nd Agricultural Revolution
Dovetailing with and benefiting from the industrial revolution, improved methods of cultivation, harvesting, and storage of farm produce
Green Revolution aka 3rd Agricultural Revolution
The worldwide campaign to increase agricultural production from the 1940s to 60s, stimulated by new fertilizers and strains of wheat such as that by Norman Borlaug. The movement saved millions from starvation.
plant domestication
deliberate tending of crops to gain certain desired attributes; began around 12,000 years ago along several fertile river valleys and cultural hearths; growing plants on purpose
luxury crops
Non-subsistence crops such as tea, cacao, coffee, and tobacco
An agricultural activity involving the raising of livestock, most commonly cows and goats, for dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter.
mediterranean agriculture
An agricultural system practiced in the Mediterranean style climates of Western Europe, California, and portions of Chile and Australia, in which diverse specialty crops such as grapes, avocados, olives, and a host of nuts, fruits, and vegetables comprise profitable agricultural operations.
organic agriculture
approach to farming and ranching that avoids the use of herbicieds, pesticides, growth hormones, and other similar synthetic inputs
A form of technology that uses living organisms, usually genes, to modify products, to make or modify plants and animals, or to develop other microorganisms for specific purposes.
the practice of mixing different seeds and seedlings in the same swidden
Degradation of land, especially in semiarid areas, primarily because of human actions like excessive crop planting, animal grazing, and tree cutting.
genetic modification
Branch of biotechnology that alters the genes in biological organisms to achieve a medicinal or agricultural purpose
sustainable yield
An amount of a renewable resource such as trees that can be harvested regularly without reducing the future supply
clustered rural settlements
a rural settlement in which the houses and farm buildings of each family are situated close to each other and fields surround the settlement
dispersed rural settlement
Where farmers live on individual farms isolated from neighbors rather than alongside other farmers in settlements.
enclosure movement
The process by which British landlords consolidated or fenced in common lands to increase the production of cash crops. The Enclosure Acts led to an increase in the size of farms held by large landowners.
inactive, plowed but not sowed
extensive subsistence farming
consists of any agricultural economy in which the crops and/or animals are used nearly exclusively for local or family consumption on large areas of land and minimal labor input per acre
mixed crop and livestock farming
integration of crops and livestock, with most of the crops being fed to the animals rather than consumed directly by humans, which in turn provides manure fertilizers and goods for sale, like eggs.
capital-intensive farms
Farm that makes heavy use of machinery in the farming process.
labor intensive farms
Where most of the work is done by humans ie plantations
large scale grain production
Extensive commercial grain farm where grain is grown to be exported elsewhere for consumption