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If you are looking to find out the differences between intensive and subsistence farming look no further, because in this article we will tell you everything you need to know about them.
Intensive farming, also known as intensive agriculture and industrial agriculture (as opposed to extensive agriculture) is a type of agriculture, arable farming and animal husbandry, with a higher level of input and production per square unit of agricultural land area. It is characterized by low tillage, higher use of inputs such as capital and labor, and higher crop yields per unit area of land.
Most commercial agriculture is intensive in one or more ways. Forms that rely heavily on industrial methods are often referred to as industrial agriculture, characterized by innovation aimed at increasing yields. Techniques include planting more crops per year, reducing the frequency of years of land rest, and improving cultivars. Also included are increased use of fertilizers, plant, and pesticide growth regulators and mechanized agriculture, under the control of increased and more detailed analyzes of growing conditions, including weather, soil, water, weeds, and pests. This system is supported by continuous innovations in agricultural machinery and farming methods, genetic technology, techniques for achieving economies of scale, logistics, and technology for data collection and analysis.
Intensive farms are widespread in developed countries and are becoming more widespread worldwide. Most of the meat, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables in supermarkets are produced by such farms.
Some intensive farms may use sustainable methods, although this may require higher labor inputs or lower yields.
Intensive animal husbandry involves a large number of animals raised on limited land, for example by rotational grazing, or in the western world sometimes as farms with concentrated animal nutrition. These methods increase the yield of food and fiber per acre compared to extensive livestock; the concentrated feed is brought to animals that are rarely moved, or by rotational grazing, the animals are repeatedly moved to fresh food.
Techniques and technologies
Pasture intensification is the improvement of pasture and grass soil to maximize the potential of food production in livestock systems.
This is commonly used to reverse pasture degradation, a process characterized by forage loss and reduced animal carrying capacity resulting from overgrazing, poor nutrient management, and lack of soil conservation.
This degradation leads to poor grazing land with reduced fertility and water availability and increased rates of erosion, degradation, and acidification. Degraded pastures have significantly lower productivity and higher carbon footprints compared to intensified pastures.
Subsistence farming is a self-sufficiency farming system in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed themselves and their families.
The output is mostly for local requirements with little or no surplus trade. A lot of small farmers who are also government employees do this type of farming so they could just provide a good quality organic food to their families and children.
Subsistence farming usually doesn’t use much, or at all, chemical pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones, because chemical substances cause a lot of damage to the human body and mind, and food loses its real taste.
Difference Between Intensive and Subsistence Farming
|Intensive Farming||Subsistence Farming|
|Use of fertilizers and pesticides||No fertilizers or pesticides|
|Use of irrigation||No irrigation|
|Very good variety of seeds||Seeds of poor quality|
|Modern farming techniques||No modern farming techniques|
|The yield per hectare is high and usually made for profit||Yield per hectare is much less and just enough to be consumed by that particular family|