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Chapter 10: Agriculture Key Issue 4
Challenges for
Commercial Farming

 Importance of Access to Markets – von Thunen model
 Concentric circles based on importance, cost of shipping,
perishability of good, and space needed
 Horticulture & dairy then woods then crops then pasture
 Overproduction in Commercial Farming


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High efficiency = surplus food
Surplus food = low prices
Not a lot of change in demand
3 US policies on high productivity
 Avoid crops that are already in excess
 Government makes up the difference in the falling prices
 Government buys extra food to sell or donate
internationally
Challenges for
Commercial Farming

 Sustainable Agriculture – preserve & enhance the
environmental quality (ex. Organic farming)
 Three basic ideas:
 Sensitive Land Management
 Ridge tillage
 Limited Use of Chemicals
 Limiting chemicals and weeding by hand
 Integrating Crop & Livestock



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Number of livestock
Animal Confinement
Management of Weather
Flexible feeding & Marketing
Challenges for
Subsistence Farmers

 Subsistence Farming and Population Growth
 Growing populations to feed!
 Adoption of new growing methods:
 more workers increasing output
 Land is fallow less often
 Boserup 5 stages of intensifying farmland
 Subsistence Farming and International Trade
 Need improvements: better seeds, fertilizer equipment
 Lack money to buy
 Solution = grow crops to export, but
 Means less/no food for people in the country!!
 Drug Crops
 Support many families in LDCs
 Type of drug depends on climate and profit possibilities
Strategies to Increase
Food Supply

 Expanding Agricultural Land
 Struggle to find new land because of urbanization and desertification
 Land being added but not as fast as population is increasing (ex. Africa)
 Increasing Productivity
 Green Revolution


Engineered higher-yield seeds
More fertilizer and machines
 Identify New Food Sources
 Oceans – overfishing has been a problem
 Higher-protein cereals grains

Trying but doesn’t work where people grow their own food
 Encouraging underused foods

Ex. US & Soybeans – taste and culture influence use
 Increasing Trade
 US is a major exporter of grains
 Trends are changing but China & Japan remain major importers