Chapter 12.3 The Beginnings of Agriculture About 10,000 years ago

Chapter 12.3 The Beginnings of Agriculture
About 10,000 years ago the Earth warmed. This climate change allowed humans to plant seeds
and raise livestock. Before this environmental change we were a hunter-gatherer society.
Traditional Agriculture
Biologically powered
Cultivating, harvesting,
storing, distributing
crops by human and
animal muscle power,
hand tools
Does not require fossil
Uses organic
fertilizer, teams of
worker animals, and
Industrial Agriculture
Mechanized farming
technology, manufactured
chemicals, use of fossil
fuels, and irrigation
Produces huge amounts of
crops and livestock
Monoculture = single crop
High-input agriculture
because it relies on people
to put in enormous
quantities of energy,
water, and chemicals
The Green Revolution
Mid 1900’s
Norman Borlaug – father of
green revolution
Agricultural scientists from
developed nations introduced
new technology, crop varieties,
and farming practices to the
developing world.
Synthetic fertilizers, chemical
pesticides, liberal irrigation of
crops, use of heavy equipment
powered by fossil fuels
Food production rose 150%,
prevented deforestation,
habitat loss, and preserved the
biodiversity of some ecosystems
*Agriculture relies on pollinators such as insects, hummingbirds, & bats. Bees & other insects
pollinate over 800 species of cultivated plants. Chemical pesticides & parasites have reduced
pollinator populations. Pollinators help agriculture by transferring pollen from one flower to
another. Without pollinators, fruit plants and other crops would not be able to reproduce.
* The amount of a crop produced – the harvest – is known as the crop’s yield.
*Integrated pest management – Using a combination of techniques such as biological pest
control, habitat alteration, crop rotation, mechanical pest removal, and chemical pesticides to
control pests
*Biological pest control is using living things that control pests by eating or infecting them. It is
a permanent solution but harms pests it was not intended for.