Chapter 11: Agriculture
By Caitlin S
What is Agriculture?
• Agriculture: The purposeful tending of
crops and livestock in order to produce
food and fiber.
• About half of the grains grown in the
United States are consumed by people
• The other half is utilized for livestock feed
Economic Activities
• Primary Economic Activities: Economic activity
concerned with the direct extraction of natural
resources from the environment-such as mining,
fishing, lumbering, and especially agriculture.
• Secondary Economic Activities: Economic
activity involving the processing of raw materials
and their transformation into the finished
industrial products; the manufacturing sector.
Economic Activities (cont.)
• Tertiary Economic Activities: Economic activity
associated with the provision of services-such as
transportation, banking, retailing, education, and
routine office-based jobs.
• Quaternary Economic Activities: Service sector
industries concerned with the collection,
processing, and manipulation of information and
capital. Examples include finance,
administration, insurance, and legal services.
Economic Activities (cont.)
• Quinary Economic Activities: Service
sector industries that require a high level
of specialized knowledge or technical skill.
Examples include scientific research and
high-level management.
Hunters and Gatherers
• Before modern day agriculture, there were
hunters and gatherers
• Differed based on region
• American Indians near the Pacific Ocean
fished for salmon
• Those in northern North America migrated
along with caribou herds
First Agricultural Revolution
• Dates back 10,000 years
• Time when both plant and animal domestication
• Plant Domestication: Genetic modification of a
plant such that its reproductive success depends
on human intervention.
• Animal Domestication: Genetic modification of
an animal such that it is rendered more
amenable to human control.
Subsistence Agriculture
• Subsistence Agriculture: Growing only
enough food to survive.
• Subsistence farmers utilize the natural
• Farmers that practice this often live in
South and Middle America, and South and
Southeast Asia
• When a surplus occurs, it is shared with
other members of the community
Second Agricultural Revolution
• Second Agricultural Revolution: Witnessed
improved methods of cultivation,
harvesting, and storage of farm produce
• Benefited from the Industrial Revolution
• Composed of a series of innovations,
improvements and techniques.
• Moved agriculture beyond the levels of
Von Thünen’s Model
• Described as the first effort to analyze the
spatial character of economic character.
Third Agricultural Revolution/
Green Revolution
• Began as early as the 1930s
• Currently in progress
• Agricultural scientists began to manipulate
seeds of crops in a process known as
genetic modification
• Genetically modified organisms (GMOs):
Crops that carry new traits that have been
inserted through advanced genetic
engineering methods.
*Rectangular Survey System/Township and
Range: A rectangular land division scheme
designed by Thomas Jefferson to disperse
settlers evenly across farmlands of the
U.S. interior
*Appears with a checkerboard pattern
across agricultural fields
*Is the most popular system in the United
States today
Landownership (cont.)
*Metes and Bounds Survey: A system that
relies on descriptions of the land
ownership and natural features such as
streams or trees.
*The U.S. abandoned this technique in favor
of the rectangular survey system
*Longlot Survey System: System in which
land is divided into narrow parcels.
• Traditional farm villages are common
today in India, Sub-Saharan Africa, China
and Southeast Asia
• These villages often rely on subsistence
• Europe contains villages that are clustered
on hilltops
• Modern villages are often arranged in a
grid pattern
Types of Agriculture
• Commercial Agriculture: Large scale
farming and ranching operations that
employ vast land bases, large mechanized
equipment, factory-type labor forces and
the latest technology.
• Monoculture: Dependence on a single
agricultural commodity.
• Ex. Sri Lanka is known for tea and Ghana
is known for cocoa
Types of Agriculture (cont.)
• Plantation Agriculture: When cash crops
are grown on large estates (an example of
a cash crop is sugarcane).
• Mediterranean Agriculture: Specialized
farming that occurs only in areas where
the dry-summer Mediterranean climate
Illegal Drugs
• There is a high demand for illegal drugs, which
makes them classify as cash crops
• Coca (which is used to make cocaine) is grown
in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia
• Heroin and opium come from opium poppy
plants, grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia
• Over 90% of illegal opium production worldwide
comes from Afghanistan and Myanmar
(according to the UN Office for Drug Control and
Crime Prevention
Climate Classification System
• Köppen Climate Classification System: A
system created by Wladimir Köppen to
classify the world’s climates based on
temperature and precipitation
• His system goes on to create climate
• Climate Regions: areas with similar
climatic characteristics
Environmental Impacts
• Chemicals, such as pesticides and growth
hormones for plants and livestock, impact the
• Deforestation has also increased over the years
as agriculture is expanding
• Droughts also occur, making less vegetation
• Desertification: when humans destroy soil
vegetation through overuse of land for livestock
grazing or crop production
• Agribusiness: General term for the
businesses that provide the vast array of
goods and services that support the
agriculture industry
• It serves to connect local farms with a
spatially extensive web of production and
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