How Are Different Agricultural Types Impacting Farming Today
Across the globe, agriculture is one of the most popular, if not mandatory, activities. There are many different types ranging from operations that focus on scale to intensity to the level of mechanization. Most farms are designed to produce food. Production methods, who the food is for and the amount that is made varies for each farm. This article will review four significant types of agriculture that can be found around the world.
#1 Subsistence Farming – This type of agriculture involves growing crops to feed the farmer and his family. The farmer lives on a small portion of land and makes a small profit, again because their primary concern is to ensure the survival of the individual family. This type of agriculture is quite difficult and intensive as it requires the work to be done by humans and animals with more straightforward tools and machines. It is believed that subsistence farming produces low yields because there is also no use of irrigation or electricity. This practice has generally been declining, especially where it was majorly practiced in Russia.
#2 Specialized Horticulture – This type of agriculture involves planting garden crops, including vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants. Horticultural production usually is intensive, with operations taking place under artificial glasshouse conditions where high-value crops are produced. Cultivated plants are in high demand, specifically in highly urbanized areas with dense populations.
#3 Industrialized Agriculture – This type of agriculture has a focus on sales where crops and livestock are produced in large quantities using industrialized processes and techniques. In this case, the primary goal is to increase crop yield, which can be accomplished using large machines. The sheer power and efficacy of these machines increase yield; however, the environment may be compromised due to increased fossil fuels, extensive irrigation systems, chemical pesticides, and fertilizers.
#4 Dairy Farming – This type of agriculture originates in Europe and involves raising cattle to produce milk. The dairy industry is extremely regulated as farmers are focused on protecting the environment around them. As a livelihood, dairy farming can increase earnings for farmers while providing greater access to nutritious food. Technologies are being used and developed to increase farm and labour efficiency, improving results from reproduction, as well as herd health, animal welfare and farm management.
Researchers believe that the planet’s population will grow by 20% to 9.15 billion by the time 2050 hits. This growth will introduce massive challenges. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization reported in 2012 that agricultural production would have to grow by 60% to meet this increased demand for food. Farming will have to continue to evolve to meet these demands. By adopting sustainable and technological practices, we can get one step closer to meeting the increased demand for food.