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the set of economic and political relationships that organize food production for commercial purposes


the art and science of producing food from the land and tending livestock for the purpose of human consumption

animal husbandry

an agricultural activity associated with the raising of domesticated animals, such as cattle, horses, sheep, and goats


a form of technology that uses living organisms, usually genes, to modify products, to make or modify animals and plants, or to develop other microorganisms for specific purpose

capital-intensive agriculture

form of agriculture that uses mechanical goods such as machinery, tools, vehicles, and facilities to produce large amounts of agricultural goods-a process requiring very little human labor

commercial agriculture economy

all agricultural activity generated for the purpose of selling, not necessarily for local consumption


an agricultural activity involving the raising of livestock, mostly commonly cows and goats, for dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter


the process by which formerly fertile lands become increasingly arid, unproductive, and desert-like


the conscious manipulation of plant and animal species by humans in order to sustain themselves

extensive agriculture

an agricultural system characterized by low inputs of labor per unit land area


places where livestock are concentrated in very small area and raised on hormones and hearty grains that prepare them for slaughter at a much more rapid rate than grazing; often referred to factory farms

fertile crescent

area located in the crescent-shaped zone near the southeastern Mediterranean coast (including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey), which was once a lush environment and of the first hearths of domestication and thus agricultural activity

genetically modified foods

foods that are mostly products of organisms that have had their genes altered in a laboratory for specific purposes, such as disease resistance, increased productivity, or nutritional value allowing growers greater control, predictability, and efficiency

green revolution

the development of higher-yield and fast-growing crops through increased technology, pesticides, and fertilizers transferred from the developed to developing world to alleviate the problem of food supply in those regions of the globe

hunting and gathering

the killing of wild animals and fish as well as the gathering of fruits, roots, nuts, and other plants for sustenance

industrial revolution

the rapid economic changes that occured in agriculture and manufacturing in England in the late 18th century and that rapidly spread to other parts of the developed world

intensive cultivation

any kind of agriculture activity that involves effective and efficient use of labor on small plots of land to maximize crop yield

labor-intensive agriculture

type of agriculture that requires large levels of manual labor to be successful

livestock ranching

an extensive commercial agricultural activity that involves the raising of livestock over vast geographic spaces typically located in semi-arid climates like the American West


in agriculture, the replacement of human labor with technology or machines

Mediterranean agriculture

in agriculture system practiced in the Mediterranean-style climates of Western Europe, California, and portions of China and Australia, in which diverse speciality crops such as grapes, avacados, olives, and a handful of nuts, fruits, and vegetables compromise profitable agricultural operations


a type of agricultural activity based on nomadic animal husbandry or the raising of livestock to provide food, clothing, and shelter


chemicals used on plants that do not harm the plants, but kill pests and have negative repercussions on other species who ingest the chemicals

planned agricultural economy

an agricultural economy found in communist nations in which the government controls both agricultural production and distribution


a large, frequently foreign-owned piece of agricultural land devoted to the production of a single export crop


process that occurs when soils in arid areas are brought under cultivation through irrigation

shifting cultivation

the use fo tropical forest clearing for crop production until their fertility is lost

slash-and-burn agriculture

system of cultivation that usually exists in tropical areas where vegetation is cut close to the ground and then ignited

specialist crops

crops including items like peanuts and pineapples, which are produced, usually in developing countries, for export


land that is prepared for agriculture by using the slash-and-burn method

topsoil loss

loss of the top fertile layer of top soil is lost through erosion


the movements of livestock according to seasonal patterns, generally lowland areas in the winter, and highland areas in the summer

urban sprawl

the process of urban areas expanding outwards, usually in the form of suburbs, and developing over fertile agricultural land

Von Thunen model

an agricultural model that spatially describes agricultural activities in terms of rent

Subsistence agricultural economy

Any farm economy in which most crops are grown for nearly exclusive family or local consumption

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