According to the US Geological Survey, furrow irrigation is a form of surface irrigation where trenches are used to deliver water to rows of crops. Most modern farming operations replaced this method with mechanized spray irrigation systems.
The primary advantages of crop rotation include preserving fertile soil, enhancing the health of crops and minimizing the amount of pests, while the primary drawbacks and challenges include lingering fungi and pests. Another major drawback is the time involved in preparing the soil for new crops.
Conventional farming is a term used to designate farming techniques that are traditionally, and often controversially, oriented towards using technology, pesticides, chemicals and other synthetic tools in the cultivation of crops. Thus "conventional" is often used as an antonym for "organic," a farming approach that alternatively seeks to limit or eradicate the introduction of synthetic elements into agriculture.
Farming is important because it provides food and jobs in a society. Industrial farming provides a large amount of food for a relatively low cost. Family farming improves the local land and reduces the family's dependency on commercially grown food and grocery stores.
Ranked in order, the top five states that produce the most corn are Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana. Those states alone produce around 60 percent of the corn grown in the United States.
Traditional agriculture is a type of farming that uses techniques developed over decades or centuries to ensure good, sustainable yield over time in a specific area or region. Traditional farms are based around mixed crops that complement one another.
Polyculture is the practice of growing multiple crops in one specific area of land, while monoculture means that an area of land only grows a single crop. A garden is an example of polyculture, and a cornfield is an example of monoculture.
Mixed farming is a concept that involves mixing two types of farming in one area of land. Often, crop, or arable, farming is mixed with livestock farming on one common farm.
Farm mechanization refers to the development and use of machines that can take the place of human and animal power in agricultural processes. The mechanization of agriculture that took place during the 20th century led to major changes in how farmers plant, irrigate and harvest crops. Combines, tractors, harvesters and other machinery have enabled farmers to increase their production while relying less upon an extended labor force.
Modern agriculture has vastly increased the amount of food that farms are capable of producing with great gains in efficiency, but it can also have a major negative impact on the environment. Large-scale farms are vital for keeping the world fed, but they can devastate local ecosystems through clearcutting and runoff, which often releases methane, ammonia and other toxic chemicals into the environment.
Agricultural silos work by creating a pressurized area within a cylindrical container that helps to keep fodder and hay that is used to feed farm animals free from spoilage. There are several different types of silos that vary slightly in design but operate in the same manner to keep animal food from rotting. Most silos exist as upright cylinders that are constructed with sturdy materials such as porcelain or steel that help to prevent corrosion.
Commercial farming involves raising crops and livestock to sell for a profit. The needs of the market help determine which crops are grown. With subsistence farming, the farmer raises the food he needs to provide for himself and his family or community.
A combine harvester is a machine used to harvest grains like wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, flax and soybeans. Instead of using separate machines for reaping, threshing and winnowing the grain, the harvester combines all these functions into one machine.
Commercial farming occurs when a farm is set up for the sole purpose of producing crops and farm animals for sale, with the sole intention of making a profit.
Hay and silage are the forms in which harvested forage is most often stored. The two differ in terms of how they are stored and their moisture content. While hay is stored at a moisture level below 20 percent, silage is stored at 40 to 60 percent moisture level. When hay is stored at moisture levels greater than 20 percent, the forage becomes moldy and may suddenly catch fire.
Sugar cane is a tropical and subtropical crop that originated in New Guinea and India and is now grown in more than 70 countries across the world. Approximately half of the world’s sugar cane is grown in India and Brazil.
Shifting cultivation, also known as slash and burn agriculture, is an agricultural system that involves clearing a section of land and using it for farming activities for a relatively short time before abandoning it. Farmers then typically shift their agricultural operations to a new section of freshly cleared land.
Farmers use fertilizer to prime their soil for optimal plant growth. Important components of plant growth are lost when plants use them. Fertilizer restore these important elements.
"Agriculture" is the cultivation of land for effective crop growth and raising of livestock. Farmers engage directly in agriculture by preparing soil, planting crops, harvesting those crops and preparing them for transportation. They also bale hay, grow pastures and buy seed to raise livestock.
According to WebMD, possible disadvantages of genetically modified crops include environmental hazards such as the creation of herbicide-resistant weeds, altering the nutritional content of food, resistance of crops to antibiotics, the presence of toxins and allergens and the risk of contamination between modified and unmodified crops.
A standard bale of hay has fixed height and width, at 14 inches by 18 inches. The length, however, may vary according to the settings on the baler mechanism and is either 36 inches or 48 inches.