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Lecture 3

GEOG 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Polyculture, Subsistence Agriculture, Low Technology


Department
Geography
Course Code
GEOG 1000
Professor
Beth Bee
Lecture
3

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CHAPTER 9 WEEK OF FEBRUARY 13TH
GEOGRAPHICS OF FOOD SYSTEMS
Urban farm/food movement (Washington DC)- relocate closer to site of consumption
o 40% of worlds cropland is in or near cities, making viable space for growing food and
reconnecting to the process of growing
Changing face of agriculture
o Industrial Revolution, Machination- switch of animals to machines
o Post WW2 in US- women making bombs
o After WW2- surplus of nitrogen, dramatically changing agriculture and soil. Led to creation
of synthetic fertilizer
Starting to make pesticides on mass scale
o Vietnam war- sprayed agent orange- herbicides (highly flammable), burned a ton of acres
o Food produced in close proximity, produced more in much less land
Get big or get out policies
o # of farms decrease, average farm size increased
o 1970s USDA- only strong survived, less federal support for little farms
o Mega farms produce 75% of agriculture production
Green revolution (1960s)
o How to feed growing population
Rate of growth happening much faster in developing countries then could sustain
o Enhancing seeds, genetic modification. More durable to drought and herbicide's
ex. corn and wheat
o Increase agricultural yield
o Increase technological know how
o Eliminate hunger
Widespread use of irrigation, pesticides vs human health concerns
Chemical inputs, health impacts, environmental impacts
Algal blooms- occur because of nutrient runoff in agriculture (fertilizers),
nitrogen ends up in water, cuts off sunlight and oxygen to marine life
Creates dead zones- US, CHINA, INDIA, BRAZIL, AFRICA, EUROPEN UNION
Subsistence agriculture
o Produced and consumed by families
o Low technology use, often organic
o Consumed by farmer (maybe sell)
o 80% of labor is provided by women (globally)
o Known to be poly cultural systems, several crops, bio-diverse
Commercial & industrial agriculture
o Relies on capital investment
o Sell and grow for market, not for yourself
o Fewer family owned farms
o Suited to economy where most people do not work in agriculture
o Mono cultural system, one crop/ variety
Monoculture vs polyculture
o Ireland- Irish potato famine, disease effected specific potato leading to starvation
o Andes Mountains- 4,000 varieties of potatoes, same disease as Irish potato famine in 1990s
but barely affected because they had polyculture
Farm subsidies
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