Unit 2 Section 4.2 Increasing Food Production

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  • Increasing Food Production
    • Human Food Supply
      • Humans rely on plants for food because plants are at the start if all food chains
        • Plants use the energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into complex organic compounds
        • Humans  and other animals then eat, digest and absorb the compounds, which they use for energy and to grow
          • we grow plants for direct consumption and to feed animals which we then eat.
            • many modern farming methods aim to maximise productivity by increasing plant and animal growth
              • Farmers can do this using fertilisers, pesticides, antibiotics and selective breeding
    • Fertilisers
      • Fertilisers are chemicals that increase crop yields by providing minerals that plants need to grow
        • Minerals in the soil are used up duruing crop growth
          • fertilisers replaces these minerals so a lack of minerals doesn't limit growth of the next crop - there are two types of fertiliser
            • Natural fertilisers - are organic matter including manure
            • Artificial Fertilisers are inorganic - they contain pure chemicals
    • Pesticides
      • Pesticides are chemicals that increase crop yields by killing pests
        • This means that fewer plants are damaged or destroyed
          • Pests include microorganisms, insects or mammals
            • Pesticides may be specific, and onlly kill one pest species or boad and kill a range of different species
              • The advantage of broad spectrum pesticides is that they can kill a wide range of pests in one go
                • However, this means they may also harm some non pest species
    • Antibiotics
      • Animals farmed for food are sometimes given antibiotics  to increase food production
        • there are advantages and diaadvantages of using antibiotics
          • Advantages
            • Animas normally use energy fighting diseases, which reduces the amount of energy available for growth
              • Antibiotics help to promote the growth of animals. this is throught to be because the antibiotics influence bacteria
      • Disadvantages
        • Using antibiotics in farming can increase the chance of bacteria becoming resistant to them
        • Animals naturally have some bacteria in their body which are useful and could be killed by the antibiotics
          • There's also a chance that the antibiotic may be present in animal products which humans consume
    • Selective Breeding
      • Selective Breeding involves selecting plants or animals with useful characteristics to reproduce together in order to increase productivity
      • The general method is the same for both crops and animals.
      • 1. Select Plants or animals with useful characteristics and breed them together
        • 2. Breed them together
          • 3. Select the offspring with the best characteristics and breed them together
            • 4. Continue this over several generations until a high-yielding plant or animal is produced
              • Selective breeding of Crops
                • often involves selecting plants with characteristics such as high yield, disease resistance or pest resistance
              • Selective breeding of Animals
                • Involves selecting animals with useful characteristics such as fast growth rate and high meat milk or egg yields


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