18 terms


Def. : An industrialized, corporate form of
agriculture, where the production, distribution &
processing of food are integrated together
Sig. : small number of large corporations rather
than large number of independent farmers
AKA: industrial agriculture
Modification of the earth's surface through
cultivation of plants and rearing of animals
to obtain sustenance or economic gain (food
& fibers).
-Significance: share of labor force in
agriculture is small in MDCs & large in
bioclimatic zones
Def: the earth's zones differentiated by
climate (temperature & precipitation) and
soil conditions.
• Sig: land uses are affected by climatic
conditions (e.g. pastoralism & ranching tend
to be in arid zones).
Economic Sectors
- Primary: extraction of materials
(agriculture, mining, fishing)
- Secondary: manufacturing, processing and
assembly of products
- Tertiary: transportation, communication and
utilities (service for money)
Sig: historically, agriculture was solely a
primary sector activity, but it is now
connected to all three.
Extensive agriculture
Crops or livestock involving relatively large
amounts of land and relatively small
amounts of labor, energy or capital
• Ex in MDC: U.S. wheat farmer with a 500-
acre farm and gigantic farm equipment
(small amounts of labor & chemical inputs)
• Ex in LDC: pastoral nomadism or swidden
Def: the farming of trees to ensure a
continuing supply of timber & other forest
• Sig: forestry is considered agriculture &
part of the primary sector
Intensive Agriculture
Def: Crops or livestock involving relatively
small amounts of land and relatively large
amounts of labor, energy or capital
Ex in MDC: U.S. market gardens have high
yields through large amounts of labor &
Ex in LDC: family rice paddies or non-rice
plots (high labor demands)
Intensive subsistence agriculture
Labor intensive, year-round farming in
densely populated LDCs (more food
produced per acre compared to other
extensive patterns)
• Ex: wet rice production
labor-intensive farming
Def: a form of agriculture where the amount
of labor is high relative to the amount of
employed capital (technology) or land
Sig: found in the LDCs or with specialty
farming (e.g. truck farming)
Neolithic (First) Agricultural
During the Neolithic era some 10 -14
thousand years ago, humans first planted
seed crops and domesticated wild animals.
• Carl Sauer's independent seed hearth:
-W. India, Ethiopia and northern China
-Meso-America and the Andes
pastoral nomadism
A form of subsistence agriculture based on
herding domesticated animals
• Primarily in arid and semiarid parts of
North Africa, Middle East, and parts of Asia
Seed Agriculture
Reproduction of plants through annual
planting of seeds
-Was the biggest development of the first
agricultural revolution.
-Today seed agriculture is changing because
of genetic modification.
Shifting cultivation
• A form of subsistence agriculture where
small tropical societies shift activity from
one field to another rather than crop rotation
or use of fertilizers.
• AKA: swidden, milpa, slash-and-burn
Slash-and-burn Agriculture
Def: farmers clear land by slashing
vegetation and burning debris (for nutrients).
Sig: commonly used in shifting cultivation
Staple Crop
Def: Food that is routinely eaten and
constitutes a dominant portion of the standard
Ex: rice, maize (corn) and wheat
Subsistence Agriculture
• Agriculture designed primarily for the direct
consumption by the farmer and his family,
(not for sale or profit).
-Low technology, uses hand tools and animal
labor, non-mechanized due to lack of
-Found in poor regions of LDC's and tropics
• The seasonal migration of livestock
between mountains and low land pastures
• Ex: animals may pasture up in alpine
meadows in the summer and be herded
down into valleys for winter pasture
Vegetative Planting
• Reproduction of plants by direct cloning
from existing plants (cutting stems and
dividing roots).
-Significance: predates the first agricultural
revolution, less complex than seed crops