Presentation on theme: "Agriculture and the Food Supply. Top 20 agricultural commodities Rank Commodity Production (Int $1000) Production (MT) 1 Cow milk, whole, fresh 144976500."— Presentation transcript:
Agriculture and the Food Supply
Top 20 agricultural commodities Rank Commodity Production (Int $1000) Production (MT) 1 Cow milk, whole, fresh Rice, paddy Wheat Hen eggs, in shell Soybeans Buffalo milk, whole, fresh Vegetables fresh Maize Cotton lint Potatoes Sugar cane Grapes Tomatoes Apples Groundnuts, with shell Cassava Rapeseed Garlic Onions, dry Bananas
Top 16 Food Crops by Mass Rank Commodity Production (Int $1000) Production (MT) 1 Sugar cane Maize Rice, paddy Wheat Potatoes Vegetables fresh Cassava Soybeans Tomatoes Bananas Onions, dry Apples Grapes Rapeseed Groundnuts, with shell Garlic
Worlds Top 9 Agricultural commodities by mass
U.S. Commodities by Mass
Pastoralism Ranching and nomadic herding Growing animals on land that is unsuitable for crops.
Traditional Intensive Agriculture Agriculture that uses high levels of muscle power, whether from humans or animals, manure, and labor-intensive methods of tilling and pest control; also plants monocultures.
Shifting subsistence Agriculture Also called Slash and burn and Horticulture. For bigger plants and extended growth periods
Plantation Agriculture Large monocultures of cash crops in tropical settings intended for export. Bananas, coffee, tea, dates.
Industrial Agriculture Agriculture using machines and high inputs of fossil fuels, fertilizers, and pesticidesalso large monoculture fields.
A Flow Chart of Industrial Agriculture
The First Green Revolution The first green revolution involved the replacement of intensive traditional agriculture in the industrialized world with industrialized agriculture. replacement of animal power with machine power. replacement of manure and compost with synthetic fertilizer. replacement of labor-intensive pest control with pesticides. breeding of special strains of crops adapted for high inputs of fertilizer and high outputs of crops.
Replacement of animal power with machine power
Replacement of compost and manure with synthetic fertilizers.
Specially Bred Crops (biotech.)
Second Green Revolution Second green revolution involved the breeding of special varieties of crops that would increase the yields of intensive traditional agriculture in Asia. Also involved adding application of synthetic fertilizers as part of intensive agriculture. Production of multiple crops in one year (multicropping).
Components of Green Revolution Infrastructure Specially bred crops. Fossil fuels and machinery. Fertilizers and pesticides. Food distribution system America Revealed: Food Outlets America Revealed: Pizza Delivery
Pros and Cons of Industrial Agriculture Prosincreased production, more efficiency, more income, more people off farm and into industry. Cons--high uses of fossil fuels, lots of toxins, lots of waste, and surprising amounts of pollution; also, unintended effects of monoculture.
Pros of the Green Revolution
Cons of the Green Revolution
Environmental Problems from Agriculture Soil Erosion Desertification
Causes of Desertification Desertification is the conversion of grassland to desert. Causes include: climate change. overgrazing. inappropriate planting of crops salinization (salt contamination) of farmland from irrigation.
Water Pollution Manure lagoons Overflow
Eutrophication and Dead Zones
Rural Air Pollution Dust, smoke, and odors
Pests A pest is any organism that competes with humans for food, destroys shelter, invades lawns and gardens, spreads disease, invades ecosystems, or is simply a nuisance is a pest. crop pests include: -- insects. -- nematodes (roundworms). -- fungus (blights, rusts, smuts). -- viruses. -- birds. -- weeds. -- mites.
Insects and Mites
Nematodes in corn
Diseases of Plants Fungal Viral
Weeds Weeds are the number one crop pest in terms of lost production.
History of Pesticides
DDT Broad-spectrum insecticides used to kill all kinds of insect pests after World War II DDT the most notorious.
The Case for Pesticides Save lives. Increase food supplies. Increase profits for farmers. Used properly, they pose minimal health risks compared to benefits. Modern pesticides safer and more effective than older chemicals.
The Case Against Pesticides Resistance University of Georgia video on parasite resistance
DDT and Biomagnification
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and DDT Michigan State University video: On Earth Day, take time to celebrate Silent Spring's 50th anniversary Michigan State University video: On Earth Day, take time to celebrate Silent Spring's 50th anniversary
Pesticides travel, kill other organisms besides pests, and threaten humans and wildlife Example: Brown Pelicans on Anacapa Island
The Ideal Pesticide Kills only the target pest. Does not cause resistance in the target pest. Disappears or breaks down into harmless chemicals after doing its job. Is more cost-effective than doing nothing.
Mongoose introduced to control Black Rat in Hawaii in 1883
Extinct Birds the Result
History Repeats with Snails
When giant, imported African snails threatened the fragile ecosystem of Hawaii, Tahiti and other pacific islands, the rosy wolf snail was deliberately imported and released against all better judgment as natural pest control. Unfortunately - and to many biologists, predictably - these ravenous cannibals had a bigger appetite for the defenseless native tree snails. Within a decade or two, the colorful tree snails of Hawaii and Tahiti were reduced from over a hundred species to only a dozen, most of which are nearing extinction themselves...and the African snails? Still at large. native tree snails
Integrated Pest Management
Contour Plowing and Strip Cropping
No till farming combats climate change
Screw worm fly eradication
Transportation, food cost, poverty, and conflict all contribute to current food shortages
All World Transportation
High Food Prices
Poverty and Conflict
Poverty and Conflict are a self- reinforcing cyclepositive feedback
Increasing Food Production Add more landnot all land is suitable and doing so decreases biodiversity. Increase productivityleads to pollution and higher energy demand; also requires GMOs. Aquaculturemarine environment not as productive as terrestrial environment and techniques not as refined. Make agriculture local and sustainablenot all places are suitable for agriculture and the culture will have to change. Book is still most positive about that last choice, which includes urban farming.
The Increasing importance of Aquaculture
The Promise and Perils of Urban Agriculture Michigan State University video: MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster Look for the People, Planet, Profit sustainability diagram and note that this is an integrated approach that considers food, energy, and water. Michigan State University video: MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster WXYZ video: Oak Park vegetable garden controversy The struggles of Julie Bass to keep her front yard vegetable garden in the face of opposition from the city of Oak Park. WXYZ video: Oak Park vegetable garden controversy
Human-Dominated vs. Natural Ecosystems Human-dominated ecosystems are: Much flatter (fewer trophic levels) Less diverse. Have most of primary productivity directed to human consumption. Regularly disturbed (plowing, construction, etc.)