AFTER midterm notes
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)? What are the
three different types of subsistence farming?
• Subsistence Agriculture Characteristics:
• Small scale production
• Several different kinds of crops and animals
• Primarily for family consumption rather than sale (people in past historically fed themselves)
Grow as much food as possible—costs no consideration
Stored and preserved until next harvest
o Brings some variety in diet
o Insurance against crop failure
13. Describe briefly vertical coordination (or marketing contracts) in production agriculture. What is the
rationale behind production and marketing contracts?
• Vertical Coordination: synchronization of successive stages of production and marketing with respect to—
quantity, quality, timing of product flows
Rationale: increase efficiency, to obtain (or reduce the cost of) financing, reduce uncertainty, gain
21. What is the defining characteristic of oilseeds? What is the main Canadian contribution to the oilseed
industry? Where are most Canadian sunflowers grown? What are the main obstacles that Southern
American soy producers have had to contend with? Which soybean variety is credited with significantly
extending the range of soybean production in Ontario? Why and how do soybeans need to be processed
before being fed to animals? What other alternative approach to using soybeans as animal food is
currently being examined?
• Oilseeds: Basic Facts: Lipid materials derived from plants (liquid at room temperature)
• Uses: shortening, flavour, texture, animal feed, industrial uses (soaps, candles, cosmetics, fuel etc.)
o Southern Manitoba
Poor road and rail infrastructure
Economic instability and environmental concerns – “Maple” or the Maple Arrow variety in particular is credited with expanding the range of soybean
Before being fed to animals the enzymes (limit the body’s ability to use to beans protein) need to be
destroyed through roasting or processing
Breeding high-protein, low-oil varieties (can be fed to animals without processing)
22. List two (2) historical advantages of sugar. List two (2) long-standing or more recent goals of
sugarcane breeders. How did sugar cane breeders facilitate the mechanization of harvesting sugarcane?
Why must sugarcane stems be processed quickly? Why has the last stage of sugar refining historically
taken place close to final markets as opposed to production area (list two factors)? Why is this still
typically the case today (list two factors)?
• Cheap to transport
• Easy to store
o The mechanization of harvesting made easier by the breeding of varieties that achieve uniform
height and stand erect (machines can cut and top with little waste).
Stems are perishable and once cut must be milled quickly to avoid loss of juice (sucrose=revenues)
– Processing near Markets (Historical): - Risk of contamination from sea water
- Lack of fuel in cane—growing regions
Processing near Markets (Today): - Can also refine and (domestic) beet sugar
- Close to and know markets
23. List two (2) factors each for the general pros and cons of eating meat versus plant food. List 3
advantages of domesticating (as opposed to hunting) animals. Give a classic definition of an animal
• Pros: - Less toxic - Most plants are tedious to prepare
• Cons: - Animals can run and fight back - Spoils more quickly
Convenience, Milk, Transportation
o Animal Breed: Animals that, through selection and breeding, have come to resemble one another
and pass those traits uniformly to their offspring.
24. What were the three main different environments in which pigs used to be raised? What is pannage?
List two (2) historical advantages and two (2) historical disadvantages in keeping pigs as opposed to
ruminants. According to the UN FAO, what is the biggest single factor affecting farm animal diversity?
• Forest, Farm and Cities
Pannage: this is food or pasturing in a forest o Advantages:
- Prolific (4 month gestation period, average little 10 piglets, sometimes up to 30; on average 100 female
piglets for 2 female calves)
- Semi-Wild foraging pigs could fend off predators (even wolves)
- Low-ability to do well on cellulose alone (monogastric)
- No primary nonmeat uses No dairy products, source of power (traction) or transportation
Manure difficult to collect, less valuable than sheep and horse
Globalization of livestock markets. Most of the world’s rapidly growing demand for livestock
products is being met by intensive production systems based on a few species and breeds of high-input,
25. What were the main improvements that took place in dairy production in North America during the 19th
• Introduction & improvements in dairy breed s
• Year-round (improved) feeding and milking
• Creation of pastures, increased fodder production
• Better feeding systems, silos, barns
• Improvement in production methods (pasteurization; Bobcock test for milk fat content, TB detection tests)
26. What are 'broilers'? List three reasons why, according to proponents of the practice, it is preferable to
keep them indoors rather than to let roam roam outside. What are 'layers'? According to defenders of the
practice, why should they remain in cages? Why does most bee(hives) transport take place at night?
• Broilers: Type of bird—big shed—raised for their meat rather eggs
To reduce: - losses of animals to predators
- Exposure to harsh weather (& resulting diseases
- Exposure to diseases of wild animals
o Layers: in cages and kept for producing eggs rather than their meat, more aggressive, prone to
fight with each other, and cannibalism, prevent increases of diseases.
Kept in cages to prevent: - Cannibalism
- increases in diseases
– It is much easier, stack the beehives and they can’t escape, they are all sleeping and they only fly
out during the day time. 27. What are the traditional ways of preventing soil salinity while irrigating? What is 'virtual water'? What
does the old expression 'dying of summer complaint' refer to? How does food waste differ in advanced
and less advanced economies?
• Lots of good quality water is applied
• Drainage is rapid and efficient
• Soils need large infusion of fertilizer (to balance the flushing required to keep them salt-free)
“Virtual Water”: key advantage of long distance trade, importing food grown in better conditions
makes more economic and ecological sense, shipping to regions where water is not abundant
o Dying of summer complaint: Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk. This is when a
baby weaned from the mother (usually at one year) and began drinking cow’s milk. The cow’s milk was
raw milk (not pasteurized) and stored wherever it could be kept cool—like in a well, or spring house.
Coolness not enough to kill the germs. Older children built up immunities to the milk. Severe diarrhea and
In medium—high income economies mostly at consumption stage
In low—income economiesmostly during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain
28. What was historically probably the most important cattle disease? What happened to the cattle herds
of Europe between 1857 and 1866? What happened in Ethiopia in 1887 and in Africa following years? List
four (4) ways of dealing with rinderpest in the more distant or more recent past. Why was Walter Plowright
awarded the FAO's world food prizes in 1999? In what year was rinderpest officially declared eradicated
from the planet?
The industrial revolution accelerated the rinderpest spread, where steam power enabled shipment
of live cattle by rail and sea in numbers previously impossible
o Large scale infection in Africa caused major changes to animal life. Ethiopia lost 95% of their cattle
and most of the human population starved to death
Burial of bodies in lime
Restriction in movements
– The initial like vaccine developed by Walter Plowright and colleagues in Kenya with support from
the UK, based on a virus that was attenuated by successive passages in tissue culture
The world is nearly free from rinderpest, complete freedom is within our grasp.
29. List two (advantages that seed producers brought over the old practice of keeping some of one's
seeds for the next growing season. List three (3) traditional ways of fighting agricultural pests other than
• Seed producers’ advantages: new and improved varieties (selection, hybridization, etc.) • Storage (protection and availability on demand)
Crop diversity patterns
Utilizing natural forage and trees
30. Give a concise definition of a pesticide and of biopesticides. What was the main goal of and the two
main assumptions of the so-called Delaney amendment by the US Congress in 1958? How significant are
synthetic pesticides compared to 'natural' pesticides in terms of human dietary intake? What were the
main components of 'Bordeaux mixture'? What were the main crops for which it proved most significant?
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?
• Pesticide: Is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or
mitigating any pest.
• Biopesticides: are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants,
bacteria, and certain minerals
Made to keep “carcinogens” out of our processed food supply
[a] were rarely found in food and
[b] were put there by humans, either purposely, through food additives, or inadvertently, in the form
of pesticide residues
o Human dietary intake of nature’s pesticides is about 10,000 times higher than human intake of
synthetic pesticides that are rodent carcinogens (consumers who worry about eating chemicals shown to
cause cancer in rodents and human diet is full of naturally occurring rodent carcinogens)
It contained: arsenic, sulfur and Bordeaux (lime and copper sulfate)
– Food staple crops: potatoes
Approximately 72 million
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). According to Richard Cowen, what is guano? Why was
it so valuable to agricultural producers? What kind of geographical and biological environment is
conducive to its formation?
• 1. Recycling of organic waste animal and human wastes
• 2. Rotations including N fixing leguminous grains Beans, peas
• 3. Leguminous cover crops ploughed under (green manures) retches (vicia)
Guano: is accumulated bird dung
o As it accumulates and dries, becomes dense organic material very rich in nitrate and phosphate
good for crops Found on dry oceanic islands lying in the middle of oceanic upwelling regions that support very rich
32. What are the raw materials used in the most modern version of the Haber-Bosch process? Which
country produced the most ammonia? What is plasticulture? What are its main benefits? List two of its
various benefits. What are the two main advantages of using plastics for storing grain or silage as
opposed to conventional silos?
• Atmospheric N2 (nitrogen gas) and natural gas that supplies both hydrogen and most of the energy
o Plasticulture: The use of plastics in plant and animal agriculture
Improving productivity (cutting costs)
Shortening growing season (saving time)
– Facilitating crop cultivation in non-traditional growing areas
– Providing new storage systems for forages and grain crops
Much lower construction costs
No insurance costs people could steal food from you
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)? Paradoxically, how could a price increase actually expand phosphate
rock reserves? What are food additives? What are their main uses in terms of food production? What are
the main physiological of children malnutrition in developing countries (list 2)?
The cost will increase (price), employ increasingly expensive technology and use additional raw
materials and processing media to produce concentrates (technology)
o Deposits that were marginally economic may become viable and new deposits will be opened
Ingredient used at less than perhaps 1% of a food
– Flavouring and colouring ingredients (majority)
– Extend range and flexibility of food processes while reducing costs
More severe illness
34. What is (or