Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Agricultural Systems"— Presentation transcript:
1 Sustainable Agricultural Systems Some Thoughts about Sustainability“The spiritual danger of not owning a farm is supposing thatbreakfast comes from the grocery” Aldo Leopold“How can the growing Human Population produce anddistribute enough food to meet everyone’s basic nutritionalneeds without degrading the soil, air, water and biodiversitythat support all food production?” G. Tyler Miller“Global Food Production consumes more resources and causesmore pollution and environmental damage than any otherhuman activity.” G. Tyler MillerFarmers have one foot in the unpredictable natural world andone foot in the business world.” The Philadelphia Inquirer
2 II. General Background Information What is the Green Revolution?A huge _________ in world food production from 1950 to 2000!Food output has _______________ due to modern industrializedagriculture!How important is agriculture and food production?_____________________ is the # 1 business in Pa. And the U.S.!______% of all U.S. jobs are employed in food production,processing and distribution!______% of U.S. GNP!Less than ___% of the U.S. population actually work on the farmand are involved in food production!
3 What plants and animals feed the world? Estimate: There are 30,000 different, edible plant species inthe world.Reality: ___ plant species and ____ animal species produce 90% of our food.2/3 of all grain production come from 3 plant species-______________, ______________ and ______________.
4 Most of the world’s meat production comes from 3 different animal species. _____________, _______________ and _______________.
5 III. The Environmental Side Effects of Agriculture 1. The negative side-effects from the use of pesticides.2. Soil erosion, soil degradation and desertification.3. Water pollution from soil erosion, fertilizers, manure and pesticides.4. Loss of Biodiversity. Ex: Clearing forests and filling wetlands
6 What are the characteristics of Modern Industrialized Agriculture? (A.K.A. High-input Agriculture or monoculture)Huge farms that raise ________crops or _______ types of livestock!Ex: Corn in the MidwestEx: Chicken Farms in DelawareRequires vast amounts of _____________ (fossil fuels)!17% of U.S. Energy Consumption!10 units of energy are used to put 1 energyunit of food on the table!Requires large amounts of _______ for irrigation!Ex: Farms in the deserts of Southern CaliforniaEx: Wheat fields in West KansasRequires large amounts of synthetic, commercial________________!
7 Requires large amounts of synthetic, commercial _____________. Livestock production occurs in huge ____________ ____________!Ex: Hogs in North CarolinaConsumes ½ of world grainproduction!Most of the manure is notreturned to the soil and becomesa pollution problem!
8 “Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People!” The Rodale Institute What are the characteristics of Low-input or Organic Agriculture?Agrodiversity or PolycultureEx: Many __________ crops and livestock are raised on one farm!Natural Methods of fertilization are used!Ex: Crop ______________, Livestock __________________ andGreen Manure like clover!Minimizes the need for ___________________. Maximizing organics in the soil improves water retention and minimizes irrigation.Year round plant cover reduces soil ____________________.Use natural methods of ________________ Control!Organic Farmers base their success on the condition of theirsoil, their most important resource.“Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People!”The Rodale Institute
9 What is organically grown food? (FDA Approved) Food grown without the use of synthetic_______________, synthetic____________________________, anti-biotics or growth hormones!Also, no biosolids/sludge, no irradiation, no genetic modification.U.S. Sales of organically grown food:1980- $78 Million$4 Billion (less than 1% of U.S. farms)Projection of $14 BillionConsumer Choices are Powerful!Ex: Tomato production in Mexico versus Organicallygrown tomatoes.
10 What is the best way to control pests? What is a pest? Activity: What are your top 5 pests?A pest is any species that causes annoyance or ___________ thataffects our lives.What is Integrated Pest Management?A step-wise approach to pest management that emphasizesprevention, physical and biological control and minimizesthe use of synthetic ____________________.What are the 6 steps to IPM?1. Identify the cause of the problem.2. Learning about pest biology.3. Scout and sample the pest population.4. Determine when intervention is necessary.
11 5. Choose the best combination of tactics to use. 6. Evaluate your results. Is it working?What is the IPM Pyramid of Tactics?
12 Level One: Cultural Methods Level Two: Physical Methods
13 Level Three: Biological Methods Natural Predators or ParasitesGenetic MethodsLevel Four: Conventional Chemical Methods
14 Can we increase world food production? Preserving Biodiversity is the key!We need to preserve _________ species to insure that we have thepotential to unlock new ________________ sources in the future.Ex: Wild species of corn/Central America/Virus ResistanceEx: World Seed BanksEx: Bees and natural pollinatorsWill people try new foods?Ex: 30,000 known edible _______________ speciesOrganic Ag and Community Supported Ag promotecrop diversity.Ex: Micro-livestock/insectsCan we increase land cultivation?33% of the world’s land is now farmed. What land isleft is largely ____________________.Could we grow more food in abandoned ______________?Ex: Community Supported Farms in Phila.
15 Can we get more food from the world’s oceans? Most of the world’s major fisheries are in ____________ due toover ______________________ from industrial fishing.Solution: Marine sanctuaries for species recovery.Ex: New ZealandWhat about aquaculture or fish farming?Good news: Over _____% of the world’s fish production comesfrom aquaculture.Bad news: Current production methods are producing largeamounts of water ___________ and hurting natural ecosystems.So, what can you and I do to help? Be a smart _____________ !
16 Is genetically engineering and genetically modified food the answer?What is genetically modified food (GMO’s)?Plant or animal species that have been ____________ engineeredto increase _________________ production.Pros associated with the use of GMO’sEx: Tomatoes that are ___________ resistantEx: Plants that are resistant to pests/need __________ pesticides ex: (Bt corn)Ex: Round up resistant crops that reduce soil erosion.Ex: Salmon that grow _______________Ex: _______________ resistant cropsEx: Plants with _______________ nutritional valueCons concerning the use of GMO’sEx: Pests could develop immunity to GMO resistanceEx: Possible spread of ___________ to wildlife/Monarch ButterflyEx: Genetic resistance spreading and creating super __________.Ex: Allergic _________________ to GMO’s
17 Final NotesNational Academy of Science Study: GMO’s are well tested by theEPA, FDA and the USDA. However:a) Coordination between each agency needs to improve.b) Monitoring of the environment to ensure that GMO’s do notdamage natural ecosystems needs to improve.2. A quandary for farmers! What should I plant?3. U.N. Resolution that was heavily influenced by the LDC’s:“We want GMO’s to help to feed our growing population!”
19 The Cartenega Protocol Lack of scientific evidence due to insufficient data shall not preventa country from making a decision on the use of GMO’s.This is an international application of the Precautionary Principlethat states that scientific uncertainty should not prevent action whenthe environment is threatened.
20 Major Issues of GM Crops Innocent creatures will be hurt by insecticides built into many GM cropsExample: Monarch ButterfliesHealth risksExample: Food allergies“Super weeds” will arise as genes that give crops the ability to kill insect pests orwithstand herbicides find their way into weedsGM crops will suddenly fail because insect pests will evolve tolerance to built-ininsecticides and because weeds will evolve immunity to herbicides sprayed overfields of herbicide tolerant GM plantsDeveloping countries who really need the food are not receiving it becausebiotechnology costs too much money