question: what are small farms, how do they contribute to society, and what challenges are they faced with?

Producing a vast amount of the world's food, small farms are valuable assets that contribute to long-term economic sustainability and food security. What actually constitutes a small farm is hard to specify as there are extreme variations in societal structure, ergo many definitions exist. In the United States, a small farm is defined as any … Continue reading question: what are small farms, how do they contribute to society, and what challenges are they faced with?

sustainable agriculture defined and discussed

Sustainable agriculture has become increasingly supported by citizens and farmers alike. According to the United States’ 1990 Farm Bill, for agriculture to be sustainable agriculture it meets the following requirements: The production must satisfy the human need for food and fibers. The environmental quality and natural resource base that the agricultural economy depends upon must … Continue reading sustainable agriculture defined and discussed

question: what is the difference between intensive and extensive agricultural systems as they relate to livestock production?

Intensive livestock production systems are those that use higher amounts of labor and capital relative to the land area.  The best-known examples are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) which house large numbers of animals in small spaces.  These operations are dependent on food that was likely produced thousands of kilometers/miles away which increases demand for … Continue reading question: what is the difference between intensive and extensive agricultural systems as they relate to livestock production?

the purpose of agricultural irrigation and the advantages and disadvantages of mainstream methods

Irrigation is defined as the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprayers.  Approximately 20% of the world’s agricultural land is irrigated, yet 40% of the world food supply comes from irrigated lands with 70% of the world’s freshwater reserves being used for irrigation purposes.   The main … Continue reading the purpose of agricultural irrigation and the advantages and disadvantages of mainstream methods

reasons for and benefits of agricultural drainage

Agricultural drainage serves two purposes. The first is for the removal of excess surface and subsurface water.  The second is to remove excess soluble salts with the (excess) water from the drained soil profile.  There are two options for drainage systems. The first is a surface drainage system. A surface drain removes excess water from … Continue reading reasons for and benefits of agricultural drainage

eight influential agricultural figures

PRE-19TH CENTURY Eli Whitney (December 1765 – January 1825) In 1794 US born inventor Whitney patented the cotton gin which revolutionized cotton production by dramatically increasing the speed of seed removal from the fiber. This was accomplished by running the cotton through a wooden drum fitted with a number of hooks that caught the fibers and … Continue reading eight influential agricultural figures