9. According to your professor, what are the basic characteristics of subsistence agriculture and its 'ideal type' in
terms of crops (give 2 characteristics) and farm animals (give 2 characteristics)?
• Subsistence farming is usually small scale, with any different crops & animals. done primarily for family
consumption & not to sell the produce
• crops: mostly cereal & tubers; diverse & grow as much as possible
farm animals draft animals for labour; they must be able to eat inedible waste/low grade forge & have
the ability to look for food themselves
What are the three different types of subsistence farming?
• shifting agriculture: burn a forest, have a couple harvest & repeat. Usually done when there is no good soil
• Pastoral Nomadism: take animals you can control & roam the landscape with them. Eating them as needed
& moving back & forth from the feeding grounds
• Rudimentary Sedentary Tillage: Keep animals, till land, live on what you produce. You must be a jack-of-all
trades; there is no focus, just survival
13. Describe briefly vertical coordination (or marketing contracts) in production agriculture. What is the rationale
behind production and marketing contracts?
• Synchronization of successive stages of production & marketing, with respect to quantity, quality, & timing of
• Pre-scheduled prices, quantities, & time of delivery
• (Mostly livestock) commodity buyer sets input specifications & (often) provide inputs (veterinary services,
fee, & young animals)
Why Production contracting instead of staying independent?
• to increase efficiency
• to obtain (or reduce the cost of) financing
• to reduce uncertainty
to gain market advantage
21. What is the defining characteristic of oilseeds?
• Lipid materials derived fro plants (liquid at room temp)
What is the main Canadian contribution to the oilseed industry?
Canada invented & is the single biggest producer of canola
Where are most Canadian sunflowers grown?
• Southern Alberta & Saskatechewan What are the main obstacles that Southern American soy producers have had to contend with?
• the roads
Which soybean variety is credited with significantly extending the range of soybean production in Ontario?
• The Maple arrow - earlier maturity & improved tolerance of cooler climates
Why and how do soybeans need to be processed before being fed to animals?
• in their raw state they contain enzymes (known as tripsin inhibitors) that limit the body’s ability to use the bean’s
• Before the beans can be fed to animals, the enzymes need to be destroyed through roasting or processing
What other alternative approach to using soybeans as animal food is currently being examined?
• since the protein is the more valuable feed component, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada is focusing on breeding
high-protein, low-oil varieties specifically for this type of processing
efforts are also underway to breed varieties with low or no tripsin inhibitor levels so that soybeans canb e used
as feed without processing
22. List two (2) historical advantages of sugar.
• cheap to transport
• easy to store
List two (2) long-standing or more recent goals of sugarcane breeders.
• be able to tolerate herbicides
• rich in sucrose
How did sugar cane breeders facilitate the mechanization of harvesting sugarcane?
• bred varieties the achieved uniform height & stood erect
Why must sugarcane stems be processed quickly?
• to avoid loss of juice hence sucrose & revenues. Mills need to be close to fields
• breeding can’t alter perishable nature of stems
Why has the last stage of sugar refining historically taken place close to final markets as opposed to production
area (list two factors)?
transport in leaky ships meant
• risk of contamination from sea water crystals coalesced from hot humid long voyages
• lack of fuel cane-growing regions
Why is this still typically the case today (list two factors)?
• can also refine domestic beet sugar
• close to & know markets
23. List two (2) factors each for the general pros and cons of eating meat versus plant food.
• Pros: less toxic & most plants more tedious to prepare
• Cons: spoils more quickly & contains dangerous parasites
List 3 advantages of domesticating (as opposed to hunting) animals.
• transportation, milk, manure
Give a classic definition of an animal breed.
• to produce offspring with specific traits
24. What were the three main different environments in which pigs used to be raised?
• forest, farm, & cities
What is pannage?
• pasturing in a forest
List two (2) historical advantages and two (2) historical disadvantages in keeping pigs as opposed to ruminants.
• Pros: rapid growth & omnivorous (organic waste & surplus crops)
• Cons: didn’t travel well & no primary non-meat uses (dairy, transportation, manure, etc)
According to the UN FAO, what is the biggest single factor affecting farm animal diversity? Why?
• globalization of livestock markets
• intensive livestock production based on a few species & breed of high-input, high output animals; growing
25. What were the main improvements that took place in dairy production in North America during the 19th
• introduction & improvements in diary breeds year round (improved) feeding & milking
• creation of pastures, increased fodder production
• better feeding systems, silos, barns
• improvement in production methods (pasteurization; Babcock test for milk fat content, TB detection tests)
26. What are 'broilers'?
• free run chicken bred for their meat
List three reasons why, according to proponents of the practice, it is preferable to keep them indoors rather than
to let roam roam outside.
• to reduce losses of animals to predators
• to reduce exposure to harsh weather & resulting diseases
• to reduce exposure to diseases of wild animals
What are 'layers'?
• chickens bred to produce eggs
According to defenders of the practice, why should they remain in cages?
• to prevent cannibalism, fighting, increases in diseases
Why does most bee(hives) transport take place at night?
• bees only fly out during the day
27. What are the traditional ways of preventing soil salinity while irrigating?
• lost of good-quality water is applied
• drainage is rapid & efficient
• soils need large infusion of fertilizer (to balance the flushing required to keep them salt-free)
What is 'virtual water'?
the sum of water used in production
What does the old expression 'dying of summer complaint' refer to?
How does food waste differ in advanced and less advanced economies? in advanced economies mostly at consumption stage
• less advanced economies: mostly during early & middle stages of food supply chain
28. What was historically probably the most important cattle disease?
• rinderpest aka cattle plague
What happened to the cattle herds of Europe between 1857 and 1866?
Europe was almost denuded of cattle due to introduction of steam power enabling shipment of live cattle by
rail & sea
What happened in Ethiopia in 1887 and in Africa following years?
• Ethiopia lost 95% of cattle & most of human population starved to death
List four (4) ways of dealing with rinderpest in the more distant or more recent past.
• burial of bodies in lime
• restrictions in movments
Why was Walter Plowright awarded the FAO's world food prizes in 1999?
• developed the initial live vaccine
In what year was rinderpest officially declared eradicated from the planet?
• 1920’s vaccine breaks through & 1980’s cured; the world is nealy free of rinderpest, only surviving disease
in Somali & Kenya
29. List two (advantages that seed producers brought over the old practice of keeping some of one's seeds for
the next growing season.
new & improved varieties
• storage (protection & availability on demand)
List three (3) traditional ways of fighting agricultural pests other than pesticides.
• rotating crops
• encouraging pests’ natural enemies
• crop diversity patterns 30. Give a concise definition of a pesticide and of biopesticides.
• Pesticides: any substance intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pests
• Biopesticides: certain types of pesticides derived from natural materials, ie. canola oil + baking soda
What was the main goal of and the two main assumptions of the so-called Delaney amendment by the US
Congress in 1958?
• Goal - to keep “carcinogens” out of our processed food supply
• Assumptions - carcinogens were rarely found in food
• assumption - carcinogens were put there by humans either purposely through food additives or
inadvertently in the form of pesticide residues
How significant are synthetic pesticides compared to 'natural' pesticides in terms of human dietary intake? What
were the main components of 'Bordeaux mixture'?
• lime & copper sulfate
What were the main crops for which it proved most significant?
• food staple crops
According to the Crop Life Foundation, how many additional US farm laborers would be required if US farmers
were to remove weeds by hand while maintaining current yields?
• approximately 72 million additional farm laborers to maintain current yields
31. What were the three main traditional ways of supplying nitrogen (N) to crops? (Give one concrete illustration
or component of the system for each).
• recycling of organic waste - animal & human waste
• rotations including Nitrogen fixing leguminous grains - beans, peas, lentils, soybeans
• leguminous cover crops plough under - mostly vetches
According to Richard Cowen, what is guano?
• accumulated bird dung
Why was it so valuable to agricultural producers?
• rich in nitrate & phosphate
What kind of geographical and biological environment is conducive to its formation? low little rain & dense bird population; dry oceanic islands that support very rich fisheries
32. What are the raw materials used in the most modern version of the Haber-Bosch process?
• nitrogen & hydrogen
Which country produced the most ammonia?
What is plasticulture? What are its main benefits?
• Plasticulture - use of plastic in agriculture
• Benefits: improve productivity
List two of its various benefits.
• shortening growing season
providing new storage systems for forages & grain crops
What are the two main advantages of using plastics for storing grain or silage as opposed to conventional silos?
• much lower construction costs
• no insurance costs
33. Which country is the world's largest potash exporter?
According to Steven J. Van Kauwenbergh, what will happen when lower-cost phosphate rock deposits are mined
out (both in terms of price and two of the various technological challenges)?
• Price - cost will increase
• tech - employ increasingly expensive technology & process lower grade ores
Paradoxically, how could a price increase actually expand phosphate rock reserves?
• deposits that were marginally economic may become viable & new deposits will be opened & can also
What are food additives?
• ingredient used at less than 1% of a food
What are their main uses in terms of food production?
• flavoring & coloring ingredients What are the main physiological of children malnutrition in developing countries (list 2)?
• impaired growth & more severe illnesses
34. What is (or rather what could be) the Anthropocene?
• the new geological epoch
What was the main environmental impact of the about 10 million humans who were alive about 8000 years ago?
domesticated plant & animal species & engineering ecosystems to support them
How much of the Earth's ice-free land are they th