Farming practices and productivity

Farming practices and productivity. 

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  • Intensive farming methods.
    • Rearing livestock intensively.
      • Definition: This is when conditions the organisms live in are controlled to maximize energy conversion.
        • Example: (1)Animals in warmer conditions lose less energy as heat.
          • Example:Food is given that is higher in energy so lower indigestible product is formed.
    • Killing pest species.
      • Definition: A pest is an organism that competes with humans for food and reduces productivity of crops.
      • Ways to combat pests.
        • Chemical pesticide.
        • Biological agents.
          • Natural predators: Introduced into the ecosystem to remove pest so that crops lose less energy and increase productivity.
          • Parasites: These host on or lay on pests eggs which infects the pest. Thus killing the pest and reducing energy lost, this therefore increases productivity.
          • Pathogenic: Used to kill the pests directly. These are controlled so that they do not affect humans or the crop. This conversely helps increase productivity.
          • Disadvantages:                        1. natural predators may become pests themselves as they may feast on the crops.   2. parasites and pathogen may affect other organism that is not necessarily a pest.                   3. It may not be cost effective.
        • Farmers may use integrated systems which have the combined affects of both the chemical and biological agents . These are more effective hence net productivity increasing further. These also reduce the cost and can reduce the environmental impacts. Therefore these systems are preferred.
    • Fertillisers
      • Natural fertilizer is organic matter and includes manure and sewage.
      • Disadvantages: Fertilizers can be washed into rivers which could result in eutrophication. Using fertilizers also affect the mineral content of the soil. Farmers need to apply the right amount otherwise a lot more money would be spend for little productivity.
  • Herbicides: kill weeds and reduces competition for crops to grow. This increases the crops productivity.
    • Chemical pesticide.
  • Natural fertilizer is organic matter and includes manure and sewage.
  • Eutrophication: Excessive richness of nutrients in water causing dense plant growth and animal death from a lack of oxygen
  • Biological agents do not increase productivity as much as chemical pesticides. Biological agents take time to work.


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