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Different Types Of Cultivation In Agriculture

The science and work of raising crops and farm animals

Different Types Of Cultivation In Agriculture

Agriculture can be the art, practice, or science of crop production, soil cultivation, and livestock management and products. It’s an old practice of farming dating back to the first ancient civilizations. Though there are many kinds of agriculture practices, the U.S primarily hosts food service-based farms. Agriculture in all forms helps stock America’s kitchens and contributes to the GDP and over 19.7 million jobs.

As of 2021, the U.S holds over 895 million acres of farmland and over 2.01 million farms in total. However, this number is down from the 2.20 million farms reported in 2007. Farmers are on a slow but steady decline in America, partially due to the growth in non-agriculture-based jobs since the initial peak in 1935. Still, agriculture remains a significant part of the U.S economy and its citizens’ well-being.

Many kinds of agriculture are found worldwide, with different climates allowing for unique farming opportunities. Here are the top 10 kinds of agriculture that help provide for the world.

  • Arable Farming
  • Pastoral Farming
  • Shifting Agriculture
  • Nomadic Agriculture
  • Mixed Farming
  • Sedentary Agriculture
  • Subsistence Farming
  • Extensive Farming
  • Intensive Farming
  • Commercial Agriculture
  • Crop Rotation

We can split these types of agriculture into several categories. This includes working with crops for food, working with animals for food, working with crops for goods, and working with animals for goods. Each kind of agriculture has different pros and cons for the product it tends to, including some environmental hazards.

See the short description of each agriculture type below.

Arable Farming

The act of cultivating food crops for human needs. Arable farming can be done on a small and large scale and involves many vegetables you find at the grocery store. This type of agriculture works well for productivity, product diversity, and land cultivation. However, it can be expensive to maintain and quickly depletes soil fertility.

Pastoral Farming

The act of raising animals in cold, steep climates where traditional crops don’t thrive. Pastoral farming is one of the oldest forms of agriculture and is best for sheep, goats, and animals sturdy against the cold. It’s excellent for non-traditional farming areas like dry and cold regions, with minimal burden on the land. However, it’s financially risky due to the reliance on selling the animals for food and profit, and it can cause land erosion in cases of over-pasteurization.

Shifting Agriculture

Forest-based farming cultivates crops in a newly burned or cleared area. The land is recycled after losing fertility and shifted to the next forest area. Shifting agriculture has lost popularity due to damage to a sustainable environment. It’s suitable for fertility and disease control but reduces forest areas and yields low.

Nomadic Agriculture

The act of migrating farm animals through natural pastures in arid and semiarid environments. This shepherding works for her animals like cattle and sheep, with easy migration practices and a reliable food supply for farmers. However, Nomadic farming is prone to hunters, herd diseases, and unstable food supply for the herd.

Mixed Farming

The act of raising animals and crops at the same time. Prevalent in humid areas, it’s great for biodiversity, continuous production, and profit. However, it requires more maintenance and knowledge than other farming types.

Sedentary Agriculture

Tropical agriculture is where an area repeats the same farming process until the ground loses its fertility. Commonly used for trees and grains, it’s a low-labor, low-fuel, and low-erosion farming style. However, the risks of disease and pests are high, and the land suffers from fertility loss.

Subsistence Farming

The act of small-scale farming for the needs of a farmer and their family. This method is beneficial for low-income farmers as it fulfills immediate needs. However, yield is limited, and a sudden shift in weather can devastate the entire crop.

Extensive Farming

Animal farming for sheep and cattle in areas of low agriculture. A significant part of U.S farming, it uses minimal pesticides, causes less deforestation, and has no biodiversity loss. However, its low yield and income make it insufficient for current demand.

Intensive Farming

A large-scale farming type in tropical and wet regions. Seen commonly in rice cultivation, it’s a high-yield, high-profit farm style. Some criticize this practice for poor livestock conditions, contaminated crops, and the destruction of natural environments.

Commercial Agriculture

Also known as industrialized agriculture, it’s large-scale farming for cash crops. Practiced commonly in America, it’s a high-profit, low-cost farming method with good infrastructure and food security. Yet, it’s known to consume natural environments and reduce crop-based farmlands.

Crop Rotation

Plant-based farming rotates through different crops in land plots for the best soil health and seasonal growth. It’s ideal for improving soil quality and offers high microbial activity with high yields and low soil erosion. The financial return is low, and crop rotation requires a specific understanding of diverse growing environments for many plants.

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