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Geographical issues in Modern Agriculture Advanced Placement Human Geography Workshop Oklahoma City NCGE October 2007 David Lanegran Macalester College.

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Presentation on theme: "Geographical issues in Modern Agriculture Advanced Placement Human Geography Workshop Oklahoma City NCGE October 2007 David Lanegran Macalester College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Geographical issues in Modern Agriculture Advanced Placement Human Geography Workshop Oklahoma City NCGE October 2007 David Lanegran Macalester College

2 Geography of Caloric intake –most of world’s people have an adequate supply of calories –the five concentrations have a calorie supply called well above adequate -120% –outside of Africa only Haiti and Afghanistan show serious malnutrition –many states in central and east Africa show malnutrition


4 map of protein –Can not map areas of inadequate protein because we do not have concept of daily requirements –difference in patterns of meat vs. vegetable protein


6 Production factors Geography of Agriculture is the base for geography of consumption patterns Major components of geography of agriculture –Ecology of agriculture – impact of climate, soils and landforms –Set of linkages among primary production and consumption regions –Cultural taste



9 General patterns 13 varieties reflective of environment –Nomadic herders in arid regions –Shifting cultivation in tropical rainforest and savanna margins –Livestock ranching on dry margins of crop farming Farmers have cleared and tilled many environments and make new systems

10 Market impact within Zones Von Thunen model useful in discussions of land use The model is Important because it opens up discussions of contemporary agricultural patterns.



13 Commodity chains

14 Trade in Wheat Wheat is the major food commodity in international trade There are many production areas for wheat The demand for wheat is great and because local supplies are not adequate production areas have become specialized Wheat is the ideal frontier crop.





19 Maize or Corn Like wheat corn moves from a few production areas to a small number of consumption zones Corn differs from wheat in that most of it is not consumed directly by humans Many industrial uses of corn oil and sweeteners. New interest in corn as fuel additive


21 US Corn Belt Historic pattern of growing grain to feed livestock ( cattle, hogs, poultry) Crops grown in rotation. –First corn and small grains and alfalfa –Now corn and soybeans Separation of grain and animal production




25 New industrial landscape

26 Industrial production A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States, spurred by high oil prices and energy policies. Although corn is the primary feedstock used to produce ethanol in the United States, market adjustments to the ethanol expansion extend well beyond the corn sector. Adjustments in the agricultural sector to increased demand for biofuels will continue as interest in renewable sources of energy grows.

27 Government policy The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that renewable fuel use in gasoline (with credits for biodiesel) reach 7.5 billion gallons by calendar year 2012, with gains in later years in line with growth in the volume of gasoline “sold or introduced into commerce.” The legislation did not provide liability protection for effects of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), an oxygenating gasoline additive that has been found to contaminate drinking water. As a result, blenders have sharply reduced use of MTBE and switched to ethanol as a fuel additive.

28 Government policy Federal tax laws also provide incentives for biofuels. Under current law, blenders can receive tax credits equal to 51 cents per gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline. This makes ethanol more economical to produce, as part of that credit is, in effect, passed back from blenders to ethanol producers. Ethanol imports are subject to a tariff of 54 cents per gallon, although imports from designated Central American and Caribbean countries are duty-free up to a maximum of 7 percent of the U.S. ethanol market.

29 Anticipated growth U.S. ethanol production climbed to almost 5 billion gallons in 2006, up nearly 1 billion gallons from 2005. Despite the speed and magnitude of this increase, the industry is stepping up the pace of expansion, with production expected to top 10 billion gallons by 2009.

30 Anticipated impact of growth in ethanol production The explosive growth of U.S. ethanol production is being felt by nearly every aspect of the field crops sector—domestic demand, exports, prices, and the allocation of acreage among crops—as well as the livestock sector, farm income, government payments, and food prices.

31 Ethanol and Corn: Classic Weberian location pattern


33 Increased price of corn have changed rotation pattern

34 Environmental impact Issues have been raised regarding possible effects on natural resources resulting from the ethanol expansion and changes in farmers’ cropping choices. –Impact on conservation set asides –Soil fertility –Water pollution do to increased use of agricultural chemical

35 Impact on livestock production Higher corn prices reduce the profitability of meat production because of corn’s importance to the livestock sector as an animal feed. In response, red meat production is projected to decline in the United States and growth in poultry output is likely to slow.

36 Distillers’ grains.. Whether used in a wet or dried form, however, distillers’ grains used in livestock feed can replace some direct corn use, as well as soybean meal, in some animal rations. The impact of higher corn prices and feed costs is expected to be partially offset by the greater availability of distillers’ grains (from ethanol production) as a substitute source for feed. As produced, distillers’ grains are relatively wet, with as much as 65-70 percent moisture content. can be used in its wet form, or it can be dried to facilitate shipment over greater distances, including for export.

37 Genetically Engineered Crops U.S. farmers have rapidly adopted genetically engineered (GE) soybeans, cotton, and corn with herbicide tolerance (HT) and/or insect resistance (Bt) traits over the 12-year period following commercial introduction

38 Industrial crops best suited to GE In the U.S., adoption of HT soybeans has expanded faster and more widely than that of other GE crops, reaching 91 percent of soybean acreage in 2007. The second most widely adopted GE crop, HT cotton, was planted on 70 percent of cotton acreage.


40 Worldwide impact More than 250 million acres of biotech crops with HT and/or Bt traits were planted in 22 countries in 2006, U.S. accounting for about 54 percent Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, China, Paraguay, and South Africa together accounting for nearly 43 percent.

41 Organic Agriculture Organic farming has been one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture for over a decade. The U.S. had under a million acres of certified organic farmland when Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. By the time USDA implemented national organic standards in 2002, certified organic farmland had doubled, and doubled again between 2002 and 2005. Organic livestock sectors have grown even faster.

42 Rapid growth on small base While adoption of organic farming systems showed strong gains between 1992 and 2005 and the adoption rate remains high, the overall adoption level is still low—only about 0.5 percent of all U.S. cropland and 0.5 percent of all U.S. pasture was certified organic in 2005..

43 National trend In 2005, for the first time, all 50 States in the U.S. had some certified organic farmland. 4.0 million acres of farmland in organic production in 2005 1.7 million acres of cropland 2.3 million acres of rangeland and pasture

44 California remains the leading State in certified organic cropland, with over 220,000 acres, mostly for fruit and vegetable production. Other top states for certified organic cropland include North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, and Idaho.

45 USDA lifted restrictions on organic meat labeling in the late 1990s, and the organic poultry and beef sectors are now expanding rapidly.

46 Grass fed organic beef boom Over 40 States also had some certified organic rangeland and pasture in 2005, 4 states—Alaska, Texas, California and Montana—had more than 100,000 acres.

47 Many U.S. producers are embracing organic farming to lower input costs, conserve nonrenewable resources, capture high-value markets, boost farm income

48 Barriers to diffusion high managerial costs risks of shifting to a new way of farming, limited awareness of organic farming systems, lack of marketing and infrastructure, inability to capture marketing economies.

49 J. F. Hart’s view “Many have high hopes for organic production and the boast about how rapidly it is increasing, but a large percent from as small base is not very much

50 Geography of Cattle Distribution of cattle highly regionalized Concentration in India results from cultural patterns Nomadic herding patterns still visible in the geography of cattle. Ranching areas in colonial zones still visible








58 US milk consumption/capita is declining

59 Cheese consumption/capita increasing

60 Demand for time-saving convenience foods is a major force behind this growth in cheese consumption 2001, Americans consumed 30 pounds of cheese per person, 8 times more than they did in 1909 and more than twice as much as they did in 1975. Most of increase due to use of Italian cheese in pizza pie More than half (about 55 percent to 65 percent) of our cheese now comes in commercially manufactured and prepared foods (including for food service), such as fast food sandwiches and packaged snack foods. New products, such as resealable bags of shredded cheeses, have also raised consumption.

61 U.S. per capita consumption of ice cream reached an all-time high of 23 pounds (more than 20 quarts per person) in 1946

62 Tastes in ice cream changed As more prepackaged ice cream was sold through supermarkets, traditional ice cream parlors and soda fountains started to disappear. Also during this period, average consumption of other frozen dairy products, such as sherbet and reduced-fat ice cream, increased. Since 1988, Americans, on average, have been eating a little less ice cream overall but more of the higher priced, higher milkfat premium and super premium ice creams as well as frozen yogurt and other frozen dairy products.

63 Organic milk major growth factor Dairy cows –1992 12, 893 –2002 67,207 –2005 87,082 Rate of change –199201997 469% –1997-2002 421% –2002-2005 30%

64 Hart’s view of the future Continued consolidation seems inevitable because producers are giving Americans better food. The share of disposable person income that is spent for food in the United States declined steadily from 23% in 1950 to only 10% in 2000 and most Americans are worried about being overweight, which suggests that they already have more food that they should eat

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