What are the five characteristics of industrial agriculture


  • Total output: The total output is increased in the agricultural products day by day. …
  • Annual variability in production: We face annual variability in the agricultural production. …
  • Seasonable variability in production: The much of our agricultural goods are produced based on the season. …

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What are the pros and cons of industrial agriculture?

What Are the Pros of Factory Farming?

  1. It keeps prices down for consumers. Factory farming allows for livestock products to be produce on a large economic scale. …
  2. It allows automation to help provide food resources. In the past, farming meant an intense amount of daily manual labor to produce a crop. …
  3. It improves production efficiencies. …

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What are the advantages of industrial agriculture?

Pros of Using Industrial Agriculture

  • Industrial agriculture comes with a lot of benefits which are listed below.
  • It increases agricultural production in lesser time.
  • It makes life easier by bringing down the cost of agricultural produce.
  • It boosts the economy.
  • It creates employment opportunities for the skilled and unskilled.

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What are the impacts of industrial agriculture?

Industrial agriculture produces numerous negative environmental impacts. Pasture land for grazing cattle and other domesticated animals is destroying ecosystems. Thousands of acres in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, home to numerous Indigenous nations and referred to as the lungs of the planet, are being burned and cleared to make way for cows …

What are industrial agricultural practices?

These techniques include:

  • Crop rotation
  • The use of compost
  • Green manure, cover cropping and mulching
  • No-till or low-till techniques
  • Limited to zero pesticide use and sustainable pest management techniques, such as using buffer zones and beneficial insects
  • Adding animals on pasture/animal manure to farm systems and crop rotation

What are the characteristics of industrial agriculture?

Industrial agriculture is currently the dominant food production system in the United States. It’s characterized by large-scale monoculture, heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and meat production in CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations).

What are the agricultural characteristics?

It then continues in summarising the main specific characteristics of agriculture: The land use function, the supply and demand characteristics, the contribution of the agricultural sector to the provision of positive externalities and public goods, food as a unique and most essential good and agriculture as a key …

What is an example of industrial agriculture?

GMOs are widespread within industrial field agriculture, including over 90% of US corn, cotton, and soybeans. GMO animals include certain salmon and pigs, with more species in development. The long-term consequences of GMOs for human and ecosystem health are still unknown.

What is it meant by industrial agriculture?

Industrial agriculture is the large-scale, intensive production of crops and animals, often involving chemical fertilizers on crops or the routine, harmful use of antibiotics in animals (as a way to compensate for filthy conditions, even when the animals are not sick).

What are the characteristics of agriculture economics?

Since the 1970s, agricultural economics has primarily focused on seven main topics, according to Ford Runge: agricultural environment and resources; risk and uncertainty; food and consumer economics; prices and incomes; market structures; trade and development; and technical change and human capital.

What are the characteristics of modern agriculture?

The basic features of modern agricultural techniques are:(i) HYV seeds: Under the new agricultural strategy special emphasis has been placed on the development and widespread adoption of high yielding varieties of seeds. … (ii) Chemical Fertilizers: … (iii) Irrigation: … (iv) Pesticides: … (v) Multiple Cropping:

What are the characteristics of industrial food system?

The industrial food system is built for scale and efficiency, and while it often results in food that is less expensive for the consumer, it also creates “externalized” costs — paying for environmental cleanup or public health fallout— that must be absorbed by governments and taxpayers.

What are the benefits of industrial agriculture?

Industrial Agriculture ProsIncreased Food Production.Increased Employment Opportunities.Faster Market Readiness.Lower Consumer Costs.Innovation.Broadened Palates and Balanced Diets.High Worker Efficiency.Flexible Locations.More items…

Which of the following is also known as industrial agriculture?

Also known as conventional agriculture, industrial agriculture is a method of farming that involves use of synthetic fertilizer, synthetic pesticides, and machinery. Industrial agriculture is dependent on large investments in mechanized equipment powered mostly by fossil fuels.

What is industrial agriculture AP human Geography?

Define “Industrial Agriculture” Industrial agriculture is the current stage of commercial agriculture resulting from the shift of the farm as the center of production to a position just one step in a multiphase industrial process that begins on the farms and ends on the consumers table.

What is required by industrialized agriculture?

Industrial farming requires large natural resources including; land, water, and energy to cultivate crops and raise animals for food purposes, which significantly contribute towards the degradation of land and other natural resources.

What is the main point of agricultural industrialization?

The industrialization of agriculture is said to have achieved two goals: to “free” Americans from farming so they could join the labor force in offices and factories, and to make food and farming cheaper so Americans could afford to buy the products offered by new industries.

What is industrial agriculture?

Industrial agriculture is the large-scale, intensive production of crops and animals, often involving chemical fertilizers on crops or the routine , harmful use of antibiotics in animals (as a way to compensate for filthy conditions, even when the animals are not sick). It may also involve crops that are genetically modified, …

What is vertical integration in agriculture?

In recent decades, consolidation in the industry has intensified as agriculture has undergone what is known as “vertical integration,” a transition from small,

Why is monoculture bad for the soil?

Monoculture also renders the soil prone to rapid erosion, since the practice leaves the soil bare outside of the crop’s growing season. Perhaps more problematically, repeatedly planting the same crop invites pests that prey on a certain plant to wait around the same spot for their favorite food to return.

What are conventional farmers left to do to avoid pests?

What are conventional farmers left to do to avoid pests? Apply pesticides. That’s why monoculture and genetic modification tend to go hand in hand. Planting pesticide-tolerant GMO crops enables farmers to blanket the landscape with chemicals without damaging their corn or soy. (Speaking of corn and soy, many U.S. farmers rotate their fields back and forth between those two crops, leading to a duoculture that’s only slightly less damaging to the soil than a monoculture.)

How do giant farms affect the environment?

Giant farms—whether growing crops or animals—often rely heavily on chemicals and produce waste that pollutes the water and air. As a result, the system we’ve designed to feed the planet also takes a serious toll on its health.

Why do industrial farms use antibiotics?

Industrial farms overuse antibiotics, feeding large amounts of the drugs—often the same ones used to treat human illnesses—to healthy animals to help them survive in crowded, dirty CAFOs. Low-level exposure to antibiotics creates the perfect breeding ground for superbugs, those pathogens that antibiotics can’t kill.

What is a factory farm?

The term “factory farm” is commonly used to refer to large, industrialized facilities raising animals for food, but it isn’t a legal or scientific term. The official name for these facilities is concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

What is industrial agriculture?

Industrial agriculture is all about controlling nature, curating the land for human use, and choosing which plants are valuable. Although much of biodiversity loss is a secondary result of farming techniques (think: habitat loss or unintended chemical runoff), plants are often eradicated on purpose (think: weeds).

How have individuals and groups responded to industrial agriculture?

Individuals and groups have responded to industrial agriculture by using their purchasing power to support sources of locally grown food. One manifestation is ‘community-supported agriculture’ (CSA), in which individuals purchase ‘shares’ in a particular farm’s annual crop.

How are food systems dependent on fossil fuels?

Industrial agriculture and food systems are largely dependent on fossil fuels for the production of food by way of machinery and mechanization, agrichemicals, transportation, food processing, food packaging, assimilating waste, etc . (Shiva et al., 2017; Neff et al., 2011 ). In the United States, fossil fuel and the energy used by the food system is substantial ( Canning et al., 2017 ). The energy used for food accounted for over half of the total increased energy use in the United States between 1997 and 2002 ( Canning et al., 2017 ). In an era where oil reserves will dip and extracting new resources is not only expensive but also has a detrimental impact on the natural environment, reducing energy use by food systems is imperative ( Neff et al., 2011 ).

How does industrial agriculture affect the environment?

Side effects of industrial agriculture include soil erosion, water pollution from inorganic fertilizer and pesticides, simplification of ecosystems, consolidation of small farms into large ones, and shipment of food over long distances requiring both energy and time. Individuals and groups have responded to industrial agriculture by using their purchasing power to support sources of locally grown food. One manifestation is ‘community-supported agriculture’ (CSA), in which individuals purchase ‘shares’ in a particular farm’s annual crop. Each week during the growing season, each shareholder is entitled to a basket of produce from the CSA farm they support. Groups like the Food Trust (Philadelphia, Pa.) have pioneered CSAs and other innovations include local farmers’ markets, urban community gardens and farms, schoolyard gardens, and farm-to-school and farm-to-campus programs that provide students with locally grown food while offering local farms a reliable market for their crops. Despite the great wealth of the United States, hunger and malnutrition remain widespread. Groups such as the National Food Security Coalition (Portland, Ore.) are developing food security coalitions and food policy councils around the country, aiming to make sure everyone has access to reasonably priced local food, particularly in areas considered, ‘food deserts’ where there are few or no grocery stores. Local organizations such as the Food Project (Lincoln, Mass.) and Isles (Trenton, N.J.) bring healthy, locally grown food into low-income communities by training and engaging young people in techniques of sustainable agriculture. Around the country, other groups such as Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (Athens, Ohio) are providing commercial-scale kitchens and business incubators to spur locally based food businesses that rely on locally grown food.

What is the goal of organic farming?

As time passed, the organic farming movement shifted into a ‘sustainable agriculture’ movement with three goals: farming practices compatible with natural systems, using organic fertilizers and few or no chemical pesticides; achieving food security, emphasizing locally grown foods; and maintaining rural economies that could sustain, and be sustained by, relatively small-scale farms.

How has industrial agriculture helped the world?

Industrial agriculture has had great success in producing abundant, low-cost food. World hunger has been declining for decades, and food production per capita has increased sharply since the 1960s. But this success has come with costs that raise questions about the sustainability and the unintended effects of the global “rationalization” …

When did agriculture start?

To avoid the laborious task of manuring soils to supply nutrients, inorganic fertilizers, such as superphosphates, came into use as early as the 1840s. However, a countercurrent quickly developed, the ‘humus farming’ movement focused on maintaining the humus content of agricultural soils. For the next 150 years, industrial agriculture would expand dramatically, but so would countercurrents stressing the need to maintain a holistic view of farm ecology – the complex relationships between plants, animals, soils, water, and human communities.

What is industrial agriculture?

v. t. e. Industrial agriculture is a form of modern farming that refers to the industrialized production of crops and animals and animal products like eggs or milk. The methods of industrial agriculture include innovation in agricultural machinery and farming methods, genetic technology, techniques for achieving economies …

What are the challenges and issues of industrial agriculture?

The challenges and issues of industrial agriculture for global and local society, for the industrial agriculture sector, for the individual industrial agriculture farm, and for animal rights include the costs and benefits of both current practices and proposed changes to those practices.

What is organic farming?

Organic farming methods combine some aspects of scientific knowledge and highly limited modern technology with traditional farming practices; accepting some of the methods of industrial agriculture while rejecting others. Organic methods rely on naturally occurring biological processes, which often take place over extended periods of time, and a holistic approach; while chemical-based farming focuses on immediate, isolated effects and reductionist strategies.

What are the three main goals of sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability , and prosperous farming communities .

What are the economic liabilities of industrial agriculture?

Economic liabilities for industrial agriculture include the dependence on finite non-renewable fossil fuel energy resources, as an input in farm mechanization (equipment, machinery), for food processing and transportation, and as an input in agricultural chemicals.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

Industrial agriculture uses huge amounts of water, energy, and industrial chemicals; increasing pollution in the arable land, usable water and atmosphere. Herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, and animal waste products are accumulating in ground and surface waters.

What was the agricultural revolution?

The British agricultural revolution describes a period of agricultural development in Britain between the 16th century and the mid-19th century, which saw a massive increase in agricultural productivity and net output. This in turn supported unprecedented population growth, freeing up a significant percentage of the workforce, and thereby helped drive the Industrial Revolution. How this came about is not entirely clear. In recent decades, historians cited four key changes in agricultural practices, enclosure, mechanization, four-field crop rotation, and selective breeding, and gave credit to a relatively few individuals.

What are the features of industrial agriculture?

Also noted in “Industrial Agriculture: Features”: “A key feature of industrial agriculture is its cultivation of a single crop for food, feed, fiber, or fuel purposes, a practice called monoculture. Monoculture results in economies of scale that can reduce production costs and as a result the prices of commodities in the marketplace.

What are the key chemical components of plant nutrients?

Others point to the era in which the key chemical components of plant nutrients – nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus (NPK) were identified and ultimately synthesized to produce commercial fertilizers as a pivotal point of change.

What are the effects of the monoculture system?

The primary effects of these practices include global loss of biodiversity and mutation of pests and diseases, which increases the quantity and intensity of regional food insecurities. More optimistically, FRESH also follows some of the commercial and urban farmers, food retailers, and community activists who are working to improve the quality of our food by offering healthy, ethical alternatives for conscientious consumers. Several key points highlighted in the film are:

How many acres of organic land were harvested in 2008?

The 1.6 million acres of harvested Organic cropland in 2008 represented 0.52% of the total US cropland. Organic crop acres are highly concentrated in the dry, irrigated, Western states (43%vs 12% for non-Organic.

How does organic farming affect the environment?

Oxford University scientists analysed data from 71 studies published in peer-reviewed journals that compared organic and conventional farms in Europe. The authors of the forthcoming study to be published in the Journal of Environmental Management argue that there are mixed results in evaluating overall environmental impact, and that part of the differences in impact is due to variation in specific techniques within both categories. for example, they found that organic milk, cereals, and pork all generated higher greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product than their conventionally farmed counterparts. Organic beef and olives had lower emissions in most cases. In general organic products required less energy input, but more land than the same quantity of conventional products. Generally organic farms had 30% higher species richness than conventional farms but a minority of studies (16%) suggested that organic farming could have a negative impact on species richness.

What percentage of row crops are grown to feed herbivores?

the fact that 70% or US row crops are grown to feed herbivores while the remaining 30% goes to feed pigs, people, and poultry

What percentage of corn was grown in the 1990s?

They note that “at the beginning of the 1990s, only six varieties of corn accounted for 46 percent of the crop, nine varieties of wheat made up half of the wheat crop, and two types of peas made up 96 percent of the pea crop.

What are the pros and cons of industrial agriculture?

Pros of Industrial Agriculture. 1. It increases food production. Large-scale industrial farms have an advantage over traditional farms when it comes to producing food fast and in larger amounts. This could be a good thing, considering that the world’s population continues to grow steadily. 2.

How does industrial farming help?

Industrial farms are also helpful in reducing food costs and making food more accessible, even for consumers who have lower incomes. Industrial agriculture uses modern technology and equipment to process meat, eggs, milk, crops, and other food items in a quick and efficient way, reducing their overhead expenses while earning more revenue …

Why do factory farms inject animals with antibiotics?

Factory farms inject their animals with antibiotics that are supposed to prevent them from getting sick in the unsanitary conditions they are kept in. However, bacteria can mutate and develop into illnesses that can’t be treated by antibiotics, and these illnesses are then transmitted to people who eat them. In addition to pesticide poisoning and animal-borne illnesses, the stressful environments in which animals are kept result in poor food quality as well.

Why are cattle sprayed with pesticides?

Cattle, poultry, pigs, and other types of livestock are kept in controlled conditions that encourage rapid reproduction and weight gain, while food crops are sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides to promote growth and eliminate insects and other organisms that could destroy them. There are some people—investors …

How do factory farms affect the environment?

These animals produce an overwhelming amount of waste and byproducts that are often dumped into nearby bodies of water, polluting them. The waste produced can even pollute the air, damage the ozone layer, and spread to the surrounding land, rivers, and streams.

Why are factory farms bad?

1. It increases the risk of animal cruelty. Factory farms keep animals in tight, confined areas where they don’t have the space to roam free and do what animals naturally do. In some cases, animals are kept in cages where they can’t move around at all.

How does industrial agriculture affect our health?

It contributes to health problems. Industrial agriculture can be detrimental to our health in a few ways. One is through the pollution it produces, which is harmful to those who live nearby and makes them susceptible to illnesses.

Why are farm products concentrated?

Hence the farm products must be concentrated to supply manufacturers or consumer markets. But industrial products are produced mostly in large-scale as a result of which they require no concentration for supplying to the users. Large-scale production has also important impacts on methods of marketing.

Why can farmers withhold supply from the market?

By the same token when prices decline, the farmer growers can rarely withhold supply from the market, in an attempt to stabilize prices. As industrial goods are continuously produced throughout the year, the demand can, to a greater extent, be adjusted to supply.

Why are manufactured goods non-perishable?

But manufactured goods are mostly non-perishable and so they can be stored easily for long time to sell in the future as and when demanded. (9) Unit value and bulkiness :Most farm products are bulky and of low unit value.

Can farm products be guaranteed?

Thus the quality of farm products can not be guaranteed as they are gifts of nature. The industrial producers always maintain a standard of quality of their products. According to the predetermined standard, they manufacture the goods. That is why, there is no such widespread variation in quality of manufactured products as in farm product. …

Is farm produce perishable?

Farm products are also perishable. There is, however, a great variation in perishability between products and also between the same products under different physical conditions such as moisture, temperature and the presence of rodents, insects and plant diseases. Cereals, cotton and tobacco under proper condition can be held for a considerable period without danger of deterioration. Livestock dispatch to the market need considerable care. Milk deteriorates rapidly as do many fruits and vegetables, eggs and fish. The perishable nature requires the commodities to be prepared for the market in such a manner that they can be preserved for a longer period.




“Concentrated animal feeding operations” or “intensive livestock operations”, can hold large numbers (some up to hundreds of thousands) of animals, often indoors. These animals are typically cows, hogs, turkeys, or chickens. The distinctive characteristics of such farms is the concentration of livestock in a given space. The aim of the operation is to produce as much meat, eggs, or milk at the lowest possible cost and with the greatest level of food safety.

Historical development and future prospects

Industrial agriculture arose hand in hand with the Industrial Revolution in general. The identification of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus (referred to by the acronym NPK) as critical factors in plant growth led to the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers, making possible more intensive types of agriculture. The discovery of vitamins and their role in animal nutrition, in the first two decades of the 20th century, led to vitamin supplements, which in the 1920s allowed certain livestock to be …

Challenges and issues

The challenges and issues of industrial agriculture for global and local society, for the industrial agriculture sector, for the individual industrial agriculture farm, and for animal rights include the costs and benefits of both current practices and proposed changes to those practices. This is a continuation of thousands of years of the invention and use of technologies in feeding ever growing populations.


The projects within the Green Revolution spread technologies that had already existed, but had not been widely used outside of industrialized nations. These technologies included pesticides, irrigation projects, and synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.
The novel technological development of the Green Revolution was the production of what some referred to as “miracle seeds.” Scientists created strains of maize, wheat, and rice that are generall…

Sustainable agriculture

The idea and practice of sustainable agriculture has arisen in response to the problems of industrial agriculture. Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and prosperous farming communities. These goals have been defined by a variety of disciplines and may be looked at from the vantage point of the farmer or the consumer.

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