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When tillage begins, other arts follow

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Presentation on theme: "When tillage begins, other arts follow"— Presentation transcript:

1 When tillage begins, other arts follow
When tillage begins, other arts follow.  The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.  Daniel Webster, Remarks on Agriculture

2 How long has man been farming?
Our planet is around 5 billion years old Man (Homo sapiens) have been around for , 000 years Man has been farming for around 10, 000 years Agriculture is the world's largest economic sector. On a worldwide basis, more people are involved in agriculture than in all the other occupations combined.

3 What is sustainable agriculture?
An integrated system of plant and animal production practices that over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls sustain the economic viability of farm operations enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

4 Farming 101 The basic processes of farming include: preparing the land
Fertilization Irrigation weed and pest control.

5 Preparing the land Machinery powered by fossil fuels prepare the soil
Plowing was done by the farmer or draft animals

6 Fertilizing Fertilizer was animal manure Synthetic Fertilizer

7 Irrigation Irrigation involved water flowing through ditches
Modern overhead irrigation

8 Removing weeds Weeds were removed by hand Synthetic herbicides

9 Controlling pests Biological control Pesticide sprayer

10 Harvest Harvesting corn by hand Combining corn
Precision agriculture -

11 Conventional Corn in Iowa
May 16, ,000 treated corn seeds/acre planted May 17, 2007 fertilized with145 lbs Nitrogen/acre along with 2.25 oz/acre of Balance Pro™ herbicide. June 25 sprayed with 0.66 oz/acre of Accent, (herbicide) 1 pt/acre of Buctril, (herbicide) 4 oz/acre of NIS, and 1.5 lbs/acre of AMS (herbicide). October 29th harvest (188bu/acre)

12 Iowa Agriculture Over 90% of Iowa’s land is used for agriculture
Iowa ranks 1st in the U.S. for corn and soybean production There are 13.9 million acres of corn in Iowa with a value of $9.47 billion Iowa is home to 19.2 million hogs Iowa chickens produced 13.9 billion eggs in 2007

13 What is all this corn for?
Animal feed Ethanol Of items in a grocery store, how many contain corn? 2 500 Corn syrup, cornmeal, cornstarch, sorbitol, medicines, cosmetics, xanthan gum

14 The changing nature of farming
There are 5 million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930’s Between 1974 and 2002, the number of corporate-owned U.S. farms increased by more than 46 percent. The U.S. has the cheapest food in the world At what cost?


16 Is conventional agriculture sustainable?
Ecological concerns include: Loss of soil organic matter Erosion Non-point source pollution Eutrophication Salinization Water scarcity Loss of wetlands Pesticide resistance Reduced genetic diversity

17 Economic and social concerns include:
Increasing numbers of agri-businesses Loss of family farms Loss of rural communities and local markets Urban sprawl

18 Health concerns Pesticide residues in food
Antibiotic resistance due to over use in animal production Farm workers poisoned by farm chemicals Pesticide drift Nitrate contamination of drinking water

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