When did industrial agriculture begin

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Industrial agriculture got an early start in the United States. To avoid the laborious task of manuring soils to supply nutrients, inorganic fertilizers, such as superphosphates, came into use as early as the 1840s.

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Where and when did agriculture most likely begin?

Most anthropologists agree that settled agriculture began in the Fertile Crescent in Mesopotamia around 8-10,000 B.C. Its spread across the ancient world allowed humans to stop their daily search for food and exert their energies into creating society.

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 is the history of industrial agriculture?

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What year did nomadic agriculture begin?

When did agriculture begin? Agriculture began about 10 to 12 thousand years ago in a time period known as the first agricultural revolution. It was at this time that humans began to domesticate plants and animals for food. Before the agricultural revolution, people relied on hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants for nutrition.

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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, …


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 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.)


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.


How did humans modify plants?

Ancient farmers planted seeds from only the sweetest fruits, generation after generation, ensuring that any genetic variations that increased sweetness survived. By selecting plants with increasingly white, increasingly tiny, flowers, farmers turned a weedy little herb into cauliflower. It was slow but effective.


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,


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.


What were the most important things about farming in the early 1900s?

In the early 1900s, more than half of Americans were either farmers or lived in rural communities. 1 Most U.S. farms were diversified, meaning they produced a variety of crops and animal species together on the same farm, in complementary ways. 2 Farmers were skilled in a wide range of trades and had autonomy over how to manage their crops and animals. Animals were typically raised with access to the outdoors. Most of the work on the farm was done by human or animal labor.


What were the main crops that were produced by diversified farms?

Diversified farms gave way to genetically uniform monocultures—fields planted with just one crop species at a time, such as corn, wheat, or soy, over a very large area. Meat, milk, and egg production became largely separated from crop production and involved facilities that housed a single breed of animal, during a particular period of its lifespan, for a single purpose (e.g., breeding, feeding, or slaughter). Farmers, once skilled in a breadth of trades, fell into more specialized roles.


What is a specialized farmer?

Specialized farmers, by contrast, can focus all their knowledge, skills, and equipment on one or two enterprises, such as growing corn and soy, or fattening beef cattle. Over the course of industrialization, specialization was applied to nearly all facets of food production. Diversified farms gave way to genetically uniform monocultures—fields …


How does specialization help farmers?

Specialization aims to increase efficiency by narrowing the range of tasks and roles involved in production. A diversified farmer, for example, might need to manage and care for many different vegetable crops, a composting operation, a flock of egg-laying hens, a sow, and her litter of piglets. Specialized farmers, by contrast, can focus all their knowledge, skills, and equipment on one or two enterprises, such as growing corn and soy, or fattening beef cattle. Over the course of industrialization, specialization was applied to nearly all facets of food production.


What was the meatpacking plant in Chicago?

The meatpacking plant of Chicago’s Union Stockyards was a sprawling facility that handled the slaughter, processing, packaging, and distribution of cattle and swine. In operation by 1865, it was among the earliest U.S. businesses to exemplify the industrial model, setting precedents other industries would follow.


When a small number of companies have a large market share of an industry, the market for that industry is said?

When a small number of companies have a large market share of an industry, the market for that industry is said to be concentrated. Markets become more concentrated when companies take over, or merge with, their competitors.


When was nitrogen fertilizer introduced?

Fertilizer applications on U.S. crops, 1964–92. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, introduced in the early 1900s, have been credited with feeding the lion’s share of a global population that grew from 1.6 to 6 billion over the 20 th century.


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 …


How did agriculture contribute to the Industrial Revolution?

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 raised indoors, reducing their exposure to adverse natural elements. The discovery of antibiotics and vaccines facilitated raising livestock in concentrated, controlled animal feed operations by reducing diseases caused by crowding. Chemicals developed for use in World War II gave rise to synthetic pesticides. Developments in shipping networks and technology have made long-distance distribution of agricultural produce feasible.


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.


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.


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.


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?

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 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 were pesticides introduced?

Chemical pesticides, such as Paris Green, were introduced for insect control starting in the 1870s. In the 1930s, federal farm policies began rewarding farmers who could increase their per-acre crop yield and, to that end, the US Department of Agriculture aggressively promoted the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, and the development of the rural infrastructure (transportation, communication) needed to support large-scale industrialized farming.


How did agriculture change in the 1700s?

Agricultural technology changed more dramatically in the 1700s than at any time since the introduction of draft animals millennia before. Mechanized planting and threshing made farms more efficient, threw workers off the farm, and altered the very shape of the countryside. Scientific approaches were applied to agriculture, and books helped spread new ideas and approaches. At the end of the century, cotton became a force for change: Whitney’s gin made cotton profitable for the first time in the American South and helped support the continuation of slavery. Off the farm cotton mills led the way in industrialization. Farm mechanization made food supplies more stable and more plentiful, supporting a surge in population and leading to unprecedented growth in cities.


What were the major changes in agriculture in the 18th century?

Dramatic changes in agriculture were already in progress when the eighteenth century began. In 1700 , 80% of the population was engaged in agriculture throughout most of western Europe. But this wasn’t true for the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium). Pressed by the highest population density in Europe, these countries had made huge strides in farming efficiency by moving from the medieval practice of open-field farming to a field enclosure system. In addition to making agriculture more efficient, enclosure allowed landowners to raise sheep for the burgeoning wool trade.


What were the three inventions that led to the Industrial Revolution?

In the eighteenth century, the world witnessed a revolution in agriculture led by three inventions—the seed drill, the threshing machine, and the cotton gin. Complementing these new tools were new ideas, set forth in books. The agricultural revolution paved the way for the Industrial Revolution, both by showing how the new ideas of science could be put to practical use and by freeing the manpower needed for factories.


What were the major developments in farming in the 1700s?

There were many other important developments in farming in the 1700s: Charles Newbold invented a cast-iron plow that could dig more deeply into the soil in 1797. Joseph Boyce developed an early reaper (1799). New crops were introduced, and Viscount Charles Townsend helped end the practice of letting fields lie fallow by showing that rotating soil-enriching crops, such as turnips and clover, with traditional crops kept the soil fertile. This put 50% more land into use and increased the supply of available cattle feed.


What is open field farming?

Open-field farming was a communal activity. The land around a village was divided into rectangular plots called furlongs. Strips of about a morning’s plowing were distributed within each furlong. This arrangement encouraged sharing of work and draft animals, and distributed good and poor soil equally among all the farmers. The open-field system also spread the ongoing burden of allowing one-third of the land to regenerate each year by lying fallow. Pasture and woodlands were held in common, so everyone was able to hunt, graze animals, and gather wood. The poor were granted the right of gleaning—they could go through fields after harvest and pick up any grain that had been left.


How did farming discourage innovation?

This type of farming had built-in inefficiencies, such as the need to move laborers and draft animals from field to field. It also discouraged innovation because the potential consequences were terrifying: Under the best of circumstances, poor harvests could be expected every eight or nine years. Two crop failures in a row led to famine, so there was little margin for change without putting the entire community at risk. The tools of farming—the scythe, the wooden plow, and the hoe—remained as they had been for hundreds of years. People were even cautious about introducing new crops, such as potatoes and corn, that had been brought back from the Americas.


Why did the agricultural revolution happen?

In order for farmers to benefit from excess food production, they had to get their crops to market, so the agricultural revolution became an impetus for the development of roads, bridges, tunnels, and canals. The rapid growth of railroads was also strongly driven by the need to get a valuable, perishable product to consumers. To manage this market, commodities exchanges were created. The Chicago Board of Trade was established in 1848.


When did agriculture start?

From as early as 11,000 BCE, people began a gradual transition away from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle toward cultivating crops and raising animals for food. The shift to agriculture is believed to have occurred independently in several parts of the world, including northern China, Central America, and the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East that cradled some of the earliest civilizations. 1 By 6000 BCE, most of the farm animals we are familiar with today had been domesticated. 1 By 5000 BCE, agriculture was practiced in every major continent except Australia. 2


How long has agriculture been around?

It is thought to have been practiced sporadically for the past 13,000 years, 1 and widely established for only 7,000 years. 2 In the long view of human history, this is just a flash in the pan compared to the nearly 200,000 years our ancestors spent gathering, hunting, and scavenging in the wild. During its brief history, agriculture has radically transformed human societies and fueled a global population that has grown from 4 million to 7 billion since 10,000 BCE, and is still growing. 3


How did small settlements grow into cities?

1. Agriculture produced enough food that people became free to pursue interests other than worrying about what they were going to eat that day. Those who didn’t need to be farmers took on roles as soldiers, priests, administrators, artists, and scholars.


What was the driving force behind the growth of civilizations?

For better or for worse, agriculture was a driving force behind the growth of civilizations.


When was synthetic fertilizer invented?

First introduced in the early 1900s, synthetic fertilizers dramatically increased crop yields (though not without consequences ), and have been credited with providing the lion’s share of the world’s food over the 20 th century. 27 The use of these and other chemicals has become a hallmark of industrial agriculture.


Who warned that unchecked population growth would outpace food production, setting the stage for widespread starvation?

In 1798, economist Thomas Malthus warned that unchecked population growth would outpace food production, setting the stage for widespread starvation. 21 What has kept Malthus’ scenario at bay? Synthetic fertilizers, first introduced in the early 1900s, have been credited with feeding the lion’s share of the global population as it grew from 1.6 billion to 6 billion over the 20th century. 27


When was the plow used in Egypt?

Grave chamber of an Egyptian public official, circa 1250 BCE. The plow is believed to have been used as early as 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Although it brought tremendous gains in short-term productivity, it has also been a major contributor to soil erosion.


How long ago did agriculture start?

Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago.


Where did agriculture originate?

By 8000 BC, farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, probably in China, with rice rather than wheat as the primary crop. Maize was domesticated from the wild grass teosinte in southern Mexico by 6700 BC.


How did the Industrial Revolution affect agriculture?

Between the 17th century and the mid-19th century, Britain saw a large increase in agricultural productivity and net output. New agricultural practices like enclosure, mechanization, four-field crop rotation to maintain soil nutrients, and selective breeding enabled an unprecedented population growth to 5.7 million in 1750, freeing up a significant percentage of the workforce, and thereby helped drive the Industrial Revolution. The productivity of wheat went up from 19 US bushels (670 l; 150 US dry gal; 150 imp gal) per acre in 1720 to around 30 US bushels (1,100 l; 240 US dry gal; 230 imp gal) by 1840, marking a major turning point in history.


What are the social issues that modern agriculture has raised?

Modern agriculture has raised social, political, and environmental issues including overpopulation, water pollution, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, tariffs and farm subsidies. In response, organic farming developed in the twentieth century as an alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides.


How has agriculture changed since 1900?

Since 1900, agriculture in the developed nations, and to a lesser extent in the developing world, has seen large rises in productivity as human labour has been replaced by mechanization, and assisted by synthe tic fertilizers, pesticides, and selective breeding.


What were the crops that were introduced in the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, both in the Islamic world and in Europe, agriculture was transformed with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants, including the introduction of sugar, rice, cotton and fruit trees such as the orange to Europe by way of Al-Andalus.


Why was clover important to agriculture?

The use of clover was especially important as the legume roots replenished soil nitrates. The mechanisation and rationalisation of agriculture was another important factor.


How did the agricultural revolution help the Industrial Revolution?

6 The Agricultural Revolution helped bring about the Industrial Revolution through innovations and inventions that altered how the farming process worked. 7 These new processes in turn created a decline in both the intensity of the work and the number of agricultural laborers needed. Because of the decline in need for agricultural workers, many worked industrial jobs, further fueling the Industrial Revolution. 8 At the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution farm hands chose to migrate to the city to work industrial jobs; however, as the decline in need for agricultural workers grew, many were forced to look for work in the industries.


How did the Industrial Revolution happen?

The Industrial Revolution was made possible due to the many changes and innovations in the agriculture industry. Major Contributors such as Jethro Tull and Lord Townshend found innovative ways to utilize the land and animals alongside new agricultural machines from Inventors, Robert Bakewell and James Hargreaves. 19 Processes like Lord Townshend’s crop rotation and Bakewell’s inbreeding methods allowed for increase in food production; further with all the extra crops, inventions such as the ‘Spinning Jenny’ and the Cotton Gin allowed for the replacement of agricultural workers because machines could do more of the work. 20 With a rising population and a large, cheap available work force the Industrial Revolution was made possible. Fewer men were involved in agriculture, which meant that more would find employment in other industries further driving the Industrial Revolution. Though the many inventions and inventors contributed to further drive the Agricultural Revolution, it is also not limited to these factors alone; many other influences helped drive the agricultural revolution, and ultimately the Industrial Revolution.


What were the factors that contributed to the Industrial Revolution?

Though there were many contributing aspects to the Agricultural Revolution,the innovations and inventions were one of the largest factors that helped bring about the Industrial Revolutions. This page will focus specifically on five major inventors whose inventions allowed for more people to move to the city for industrial work. Thus allowing the Industrial revolution to begin.


What were the factors that drove the agricultural revolution?

Innovations and Inventions were the only factor that drove the Agricultural Revolution.


What was the first invention of the Industrial Revolution?

Eli Whitney another inventor born in America in 1765, made another key invention of the industrial revolution, the cotton gin (picture to the right) which was invented in 1794. A cotton gin is a machine that quickly separates cotton fibers from their seeds. The invention of the cotton gin allowed for much greater productivity than manual labor, resulting in this invention greatly increasing the production rate for clothing and other cotton goods. Despite the cotton gins success, Whitney made little money from his invention due to patent-infringement issues. For his work, he is credited as a pioneer of American manufacturing. 16


Why was agriculture the largest source of employment?

Though the labor was difficult, agricultural work became the largest source of employment because of the ‘self-supply’ benefit, which is the ability to stock their own food stores through their own work.


Why did farmers work six days a week?

1 2. Before the Industrial Revolution, agriculture workers labored six days a week, from sun up to sun down, just to keep their crops growing. 1 Certain seasons were more demanding than others, specifically the plowing and harvest seasons. 2 Because of the intensity and necessity of agricultural labor, it was the largest employment source in …


When was the Industrial Revolution?

The first Industrial Revolution. In the period 1760 to 1830 the Industrial Revolution was largely confined to Britain. Aware of their head start, the British forbade the export of machinery, skilled workers, and manufacturing techniques.


Which country joined the Industrial Revolution?

The rise of U.S. industrial power in the 19th and 20th centuries also far outstripped European efforts. And Japan too joined the Industrial Revolution with striking success. The eastern European countries were behind early in the 20th century.


How did the Industrial Revolution affect the middle class?

The Industrial Revolution increased the overall amount of wealth and distributed it more widely than had been the case in earlier centuries, helping to enlarge the middle class. However, the replacement of the domestic system of industrial production, in which independent craftspersons worked in or near their homes, with the factory system and mass production consigned large numbers of people, including women and children, to long hours of tedious and often dangerous work at subsistence wages. Their miserable conditions gave rise to the trade union movement in the mid-19th century.


What were the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution?

Important inventions of the Industrial Revolution included the steam engine, used to power steam locomotives, steamboats, steamships, and machines in factories; electric generators and electric motors; the incandescent lamp (light bulb); the telegraph and telephone; and the internal-combustion engine and automobile, whose mass production was perfected by Henry Ford in the early 20th century.


What were the changes in nonindustrial society?

There were also many new developments in nonindustrial spheres, including the following: (1) agricultural improvements that made possible the provision of food for a larger nonagricultural population, (2) economic changes that resulted in a wider distribution of wealth, the decline of land as a source of wealth in the face of rising industrial production, and increased international trade, (3) political changes reflecting the shift in economic power, as well as new state policies corresponding to the needs of an industrialized society, (4) sweeping social changes, including the growth of cities, the development of working-class movements, and the emergence of new patterns of authority, and (5) cultural transformations of a broad order . Workers acquired new and distinctive skills, and their relation to their tasks shifted; instead of being craftsmen working with hand tools, they became machine operators, subject to factory discipline. Finally, there was a psychological change: confidence in the ability to use resources and to master nature was heightened.


How did the Industrial Revolution change the economy?

The Industrial Revolution transformed economies that had been based on agriculture and handicrafts into economies based on large-scale industry, mechan ized manufacturing, and the factory system . New machines, new power sources, and new ways of organizing work made existing industries more productive and efficient.


How long did the Industrial Revolution last?

What is called the first Industrial Revolution lasted from the mid-18th century to about 1830 and was mostly confined to Britain. The second Industrial Revolution lasted from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century …

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Background


Specialization

  • Specialization aims to increase efficiency by narrowing the range of tasks and roles involved in production. A diversified farmer, for example, might need to manage and care for many different vegetable crops, a composting operation, a flock of egg-laying hens, a sow, and her litter of piglets. Specialized farmers, by contrast, can focus all their knowledge, skills, and equipment on …

See more on foodsystemprimer.org


Mechanization

  • Like work on an assembly line, specialized labor often involves repetitive tasks that can be performed by machines. This meant routine jobs like sowing seeds, harvesting crops, milking cows, and feeding and slaughtering animals could be mechanized, reducing (and in some cases eliminating) the need for human and animal labor. Between 1900 and 2000, the share of the U.S…

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Chemical and Pharmaceutical Inputs

  • The early 1900s saw the introduction of synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, innovations that have become a hallmark of industrial crop production. In just 12 years, between 1964 and 1976, synthetic and mineral fertilizer applications on U.S. crops nearly doubled, while pesticide use on major U.S. crops increased by 143 percent.10 The shi…

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Consolidation

  • Consolidation in agriculture is the shift toward fewer and larger farms, usually as a result of large farms getting larger and smaller farms going out of business. In the late 1950s, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson exemplified government pressure to consolidate when he called on farmers to “get big or get out.”15 Between 1950 and 1997, the average U.S. farm more than dou…

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Market Concentration

  • Market share is the proportion of an industry’s sales earned by one company. In the U.S. market for salty snacks, for example, 64 percent of sales are earned by PepsiCo.19 When a small number of companies have a large market share of an industry, the market for that industry is said to be concentrated. Markets become more concentrated when companies take over, or merge with, th…

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Resources

  • The following list of suggested resources is intended as a starting point for further exploration, and is not in any way comprehensive. Some materials may not reflect the views of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

See more on foodsystemprimer.org


References

  • 1. Ikerd JE. Sustaining the profitability of agriculture. In: Economist’s Role in the Agricultural Sustainability Paradigm. San Antonio, TX: University of Missouri; 1996. 2. MacDonald J, Korb P, Hoppe R. Farm Size and the Organization of U.S. Crop Farming. 2013. 3. Rifkin J. Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture. New York, New York: Plume; 1993. 4. Ikerd JE. Sustainin…

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Overview

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 of scale in production, the creation of new markets for consumption, the applicati…


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.


Animals

“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.


Crops

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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