Agriculture: A Very Short Introduction
Agriculture, one of the oldest human occupations, is practised all over the world, using techniques ranging from the profoundly traditional to the most scientifically advanced. Without it we would starve. Yet how many of us understand what is happening in the fields that we see as we drive through the countryside? How often do we think about the origins of the food in our trolley?
In this Very Short Introduction Paul Brassley and Richard Soffe explain what farmers do and why they do it. Beginning with the most basic resource, the soil, they show why it is important, and how farmers can increase its productivity, before turning to the plants and animals that grow on it, and tracing the connections between their biology and the various ways in which farmers work with them. The authors conclude by looking at some of the controversial issues facing contemporary agriculture: its sustainability; its impact on wildlife and landscape; issues of animal welfare; and the affect of climate change and the development of genetically modified organisms on farmers.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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19th century 40 per cent acid affect agricultural policy AMERICAN animal products animal’s arable beef breed breeders carbon dioxide carbon footprint cattle Centre pivot irrigation cereals Chapter chickens clay climate change consumers corn cows crops cultivation dairy David developed countries diet disease eggs Europe European example exporters FAO.FAOSTAT farm animals farmers feed fertilizers Food and Agriculture genes genetic global glyphosate grass grazing greenhouse greenhouse gas grow grown growth harvest hectares hens human impact important incomes increase industrialized countries inputs irrigation John Klaus Dodds labour land landscape livestock maize manure meat Michael milk million modern Nick Middleton nitrogen nutrients output pest pesticides Peter photosynthesis pigs plants population potatoes produce proteins rice Roger Scruton seed sheep soil soya beans species sugar Table temperature tonnes trade traditional farming tropical varieties Water Footprint weeds wheat whereas wildlife World Trade Organization yield