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Agriculture (farming) is the systematic process of producing substances for human and animal consumption (we call them food), and other substances through the cultivation of plants and animals. Agriculture is an economic activity which, through cultivated plants and domestic animals, in addition to human labor, exploits natural resources (soil, water, climate) to obtain plant and animal products used in human and animal nutrition and as raw materials for further processing. It is divided into crop production (crop production, fruit growing, viticulture, horticulture, etc.) and livestock (cattle, pig, poultry, sheep, horse breeding, etc.).
Very Brief History of Farming
Farming is one of the oldest human activities, and since it is older than any written document, it cannot be established when it originated. But according to the remains and archeological finds, agriculture originated somewhere in the period from 10,000 to 7,000 BC., when it came down to collecting fruit from shrubs and trees. Today, we divide farming into livestock and crop production. One of the oldest branches of agriculture is beekeeping. In recent times, agriculture has been divided into conventional and organic.
12 Farming Types:
1. Arable Farming
Arable soil in geography means land that can serve to grow agricultural crops. It is different from cultivated land, and includes jungles and has not been used for human use only. Today, arable land covers about 19 million miles.
Although limited by mass and topology, the amount of total arable land, regionally and globally, fluctuates due to human and climatic factors such as irrigation, deforestation, desertification, landfills, and urban expansion. Therefore, many studies are conducted on how these changes affect food production.
The most productive part of arable land comes from geological deposits of rivers and seas. In modern times, rivers do not flood agricultural land due to flood control.
Lands that are not suitable for tillage have at least one of the following disadvantages:
- no freshwater source
- hot climate (deserts)
- cold climate (Arctic)
- rather rocky relief
- too much rain or snow
- too much pollution
- poor nutrition
2. Pastoral Farming
Pastoral Farming or Animals Farming means an automated form of industrial agriculture for livestock and livestock production for the mass production of animal products such as meat, milk or chicken eggs by keeping a large number of animals in a very restricted area. There is no precise definition of the number of animals since intensive livestock has been discussed. The mass breeding of animals is not in line with the natural way of breeding animals.
Mass livestock production has led to increased productivity, as well as reduced production costs, resulting in lower costs for producers and lower product prices for consumers.
Mass production of animals has made it possible for the broader population of rich countries to consume meat daily. In addition, milk and egg production increased to the extent that these products also became everyday, cheap foods.
Criticism on Mass Animal Breeding
- environmental pollution
- greenhouse gasses
- water pollution
- use of antibiotics and medicines to supplement animal feed for health prevention
- loss of genetic diversity
Mass production of animals causes about 18 percent of greenhouse gases
3. Dry Farming
Dry farming is a specific agricultural technique, and it is carried out in areas where there are problems with irrigation and low rainfall, less than 20 inches.
Crops grown on dry land may include winter wheat, corn, beans, sunflower or even watermelon. Successful cultivation of dry land is possible with only 9 inches rainfall per year; higher rainfall increases crop diversity.
4. Mixed Farming
Mixed farming involves the cultivation of plants and animals. If the farm comprises at least 10% and a maximum of 49% of animal breeding, then this production is called mixed farming. In the case of a mixed farm, only the breeding of cows, bulls, and buffalos enters.
5. Commercial Farming
Commercial farming involves raising animals and crops for sale on the market and making a profit. It is the pillar of the world’s agriculture industry. And while the commercial economy has existed for thousands of years, major changes have taken place in the last 100 years.
Thanks to technological and scientific advances, crops can now be genetically modified to create a variety of resistance. Also, medicines, nutritional supplements, and additives are used in breeding animals to protect their health and improve their growth.
It is these supplements that are the subject of debate because as much as they have brought benefits, many are considered unhealthy. But, in commercial farming, unfortunately, profit is the main goal.
6. Subsistence Farming
Typical subsistence far has all sorts of crops, plants, and animals to keep family feed and clothe themselves during a year. The main goals and planings are for food and some clothes, while, if something is left, it can be traded.
7. Extensive Farming
Extensive cattle breeding represents livestock farming in pastures with very little investment and slightly more modest yields. Small family farms are a prime example.
This usually means raising sheep and livestock in large areas with low agricultural productivity. Not much labor or money is used for it.
8. Intensive Farming
Contrary to extensive, intensive farming involves equal land but much more invested labor and money to increase the yield that can be obtained per area of land. The use of large amounts of pesticides for crops, and of medication for animal stocks is common.
9. Sedentary Farming
Sedentary farming is a method of agriculture in which the same land is used every year. It’s the opposite of nomadic farming.
This type of agriculture is practiced in one place, by a farmer who does not rotate the fields. This term was used for primitive farmers in tropical parts of Africa who farmed the same land over and over instead of occasionally rotating or changing it.
10. Nomadic Farming
Opposite of sedentary farming, nomadic animal husbandry is a form of animal husbandry, that is, raising livestock that involves moving it from one area to another for the purpose of finding fresh grazing land and water.
The forms of nomadic livestock vary from area to area, or from culture to culture. Some human societies and cultures have relied entirely on nomadic livestock, so we call them nomads.
11. Urban Farming
Urban farming or agriculture or gardening can be briefly defined as the cultivation of plants and the cultivation of animals in and around cities. The most striking feature of urban agriculture, which distinguishes it from rural agriculture, is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system: urban agriculture is embedded in – and interacts with – the urban ecosystem. Such links include the use of urban residents as workers, the use of typical urban resources (such as organic waste as compost and urban wastewater for irrigation), direct links with urban consumers, direct impacts on urban ecology, being part of the urban food system, competing for land with other urban functions, influenced by urban policies and plans, etc. Urban farming is not a relic of the past that will fade (urban agriculture grows as the city grows) nor is it brought to the city by rural immigrants who will eventually lose their rural habits. It is an integral part of the urban system.
You can start urban farming almost everywhere. It can even be in your own apartment. If you would like to know more about it, read out text on Everything you need to know about ‘Urban Farming’ (agriculture, gardening)
12. Organic Farming
Organic food is food produced using methods that do not include modern artificial additives such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, does not contain genetically modified organisms and is not treated with radiation, industrial solvents or chemical food additives.
Organic production, unlike private vegetable growing, is regulated by law. Currently, in the European Union, the USA, Canada, Japan, and other countries, food producers need to have a special certification for organic production in order to market their products as “organic”. For the purposes of these laws, organic food is food produced in a manner that complies with the standards prescribed at the national or international level. In most countries, organic food may not be genetically modified. It has been suggested that the application of nanotechnology in food production should be excluded from certified organic food.
In most of human history, agricultural production can be called “organic”. Only during the 20th century did the use of large quantities of artificial chemicals in food production begin. The organic farming movement was created in the 1940s in response to the industrialization of agriculture and is known as the Green Revolution.
If you would like to know more about it, read out text on Organic Farming Types, Importances, Advantages, and Benefits