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

Technology has become a dominant part of our everyday lives and our food production system is no exception. Accordingly, since the turn of the 20th century, the standard approach to production has shifted from extensive production to intensive production as businesses have opted to replace natural services with technology. In this respect, intensive livestock production …

the purpose of plant breeding and selection and why it is a never-ending story

Agriculture is the foundation of society as we know it and without the domestication of plants, agriculture would not be possible. Plant domestication, which is the process of adapting wild plants for the use of humans, is arguably more successful when practiced in conjunction with crop breeding. Crop breeding occurs when closely or distantly related plant …

8 essential questions to ask before installing an irrigation system

Irrigation systems offer a variety of benefits.  They allow for the growth of a wider variety of crops.  They can be timed so that the hands-on portion of crop production is a little less cumbersome.  They protect crops from irregular and dry weather conditions.  They support leaching, which can remove harmful, crop-damaging salts within in …

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 …

livestock – fact or prejudice?

Human and livestock have lived in ecological harmony for 10,000 years. True! It is only with the emergence of modern industrialized agriculture that livestock production has become ecologically harmful. Livestock competes with humans for food and water Technically speaking, pigs and chickens are in competition with humans because we can consume similar foodstuffs. However, in …

food deserts defined and examined

What exactly is a food desert? The term food desert was first coined in the 1990s in Scotland.  It is used to describe locations where there is little or no access to healthy foods. This is often due to a lack of "normal" and "safe" food sources (i.e. supermarkets). When residents do not have regular …

a history of the development of the food pyramid and dietary guidelines in the United States

Throughout the 20th century, the food mantra of the United States changed from 'eat more'  to 'eat less'. The 'eat more' mentality (1890s-1960s) was in response to widespread disease caused by nutritional deficiencies and the eat less (1960s- present) is in response to the dramatic increase in chronic disease brought about by unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles. …