Geography 1500F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Staple Food, Algal Bloom, Quantum

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1500f: lecture 12: Oct 26th, 2016: food & agriculture case study: corn study part 2
Review: and exam like question
o Choose three of the following ecosystem services and explain how large-scale,
monoculture production of corn interacts with each one
o Soil production
Corn uses a ton of nitrogen a key material in soil
Fertilizers to be added to provide more nitrogen
Mechanized farming
o Clean water
Pesticide run off = pollution
Quantity as used for integration
Fertilizer runoff impacts: mutations, algae bloom, dead zones
o Biodiversity
Reduced quantic diversity
Clearing land for agriculture
*Dead zones in aquatic systems
o Food
Feeding livestock
Quantity cheaper food, increases amount people are buying
(supply/demand)… process foods
Staple crop around the world
Excess used to make ethanol and other products
Grow a lot of food!!!
Political economy of corn
o Flex crop = corn
o Key policies to corn
o Trade and aid issues
o Responses by social movements
Corn as a flex crop
o Food, fuel, feed, industrial chemicals, etc.
o Cornification of the food supply
o Livestock feed, processed foods
o Thickening agent in food cornstarch
o Cornification of everything else?
o Ethanol, industrial chemicals, “bio economy
Agricultural subsidies (US)
o Direct domino effect on Canada
o 1930s: new deal policies
o farmers given option of taking a loan and storing their corn in years of
abundant harvest
o 1970s: direct payment to farmers
o no matter how low the price of corn, government will pay farmers a set
price
o creates incentive to always produce more
o 1996: further deregulation; even more surplus corn
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