Presentation on theme: "Farmland…Uses and Challenges. Farmlands: Land that is used to grow crops and fruit The United States contains more than 100 million hectares of farmland."— Presentation transcript:
Farmland…Uses and Challenges
Farmlands: Land that is used to grow crops and fruit The United States contains more than 100 million hectares of farmland.
Why does our farmland matter? Without it we would have no sources of vegetables, fruit, grains, or plant based oils With our growing population, we need more food than ever before in history (this will continue to increase)
The human body uses food both as source of energy and as a source of materials for building and maintaining body tissues. Why do we need food?
Who is using the most food? Peopled in more developed countries tend to eat more food. With more income provided to a household…the more food consumed. Higher population of country and world, less food available
What resources do we need to produce food? Water Nutrients Fertilizer Pesticides
What is food efficiency? Measures how much food can be produced in a given area of land Lower trophic levels (ex: producers) are more efficient because their populations tend to be larger than higher members in a food chain who are sharing the same area of land. Example: You can produce many times more wheat and grain from a field than meat
10% Rule – only that much is transferred with each step on the food chain Plants Humans (10% of the original energy) Plants Cow (10 %) Human (1% of the original energy) More efficient: Plants Humans Less Efficient: Plants Animal Humans WHY?????
Some animals are more efficient that others – and eating them has a lower environmental impact
What is changing about farmland? We have decreasing numbers of people who are farmers - This means larger farms are used to feed more people More people live in urban areas – so the distance food must be transported has increased (more fossil fuels burned) More fossil fuel burning farming equipment is used to grow and harvest food Genetically Modified Crops – Genetically Patented Crops Monocultures – plant only one type of crop on land Increased use (demand?) for fertilizers and pesticides
Why is human population growth the driving force behind these changes? More people means more demand for food. Farmlands are expected to keep up with population growth. This can lead to over-use of farmland. We need the same amount of land to produce more food
What are some threats to our farmland? Development/city expansion Not enough space Limited water
What are some threats to our farmland? Overuse of land Land becomes drained of nutrients, from over planting and planting only one type of crop
What are some threats to our farmland? Droughts and desertification Land will become “like a desert” Causes are lack of water, climate change, deforestation, over-use, lack of biodiversity, one-crop planting
What are some threats to our farmland? Erosion Natural process caused by wind and water Intensified by using the land for farming and removing vegetation
Areas of the world threatened by soil erosion and desertification:
An aerial view of farmland in Minnesota shows the unique patterns created by the use of contour farming. This farming method conserves rainwater and reduces soil losses from surface erosion.
What can these threats to farmland mean? Larger one-crop farms tend to be more susceptible to pest problems and nutrient deficiency This means that they have challenges keeping up with increasing food demands
What can these threats to farmland mean? Malnutrition: A condition that occurs when people do not consume enough Calories or do not eat a sufficient variety of foods to fulfill all of the body’s needs. Calorie (Cal) = 1,000 calories
Consumer Consequences Food products may not be available Cost of food increases
More Farming – More Carbon When prairies are plowed and when forests are cleared – carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere When green plants and grasses are removed, they can’t absorb carbon dioxide any more and can’t release oxygen into the air. Farm equipment burns fuel – more carbon dioxide is released Food is transported – fuel is burned – more carbon dioxide More carbon – more CLIMATE CHANGE
Why does our farmland matter? We need it to produce food. We need food to live. We need to feed more people every year.
Why does being a vegetarian increase our food efficiency? We need a certain amount of energy to live and you can more energy by eating food directly. Eating meat causes us to lose energy because the animal uses some energy.
How is increasing population threatening our farmland? Because we have more people to feed, we need to produce more food. This causes farms to overuse the soil, do one-crop farming which drains nutrients, causes more erosion, demands more water and calls for more chemicals to be introduced to our environment like fertilizer and pesticides.