By Julie Kerr Casper
Explores the most very important makes use of of the land: the creation of agriculture. This booklet is helping readers study that farms and ranches produce even more than meals; yet scientists, farmers, ranchers, and different landowners have not solved conservation difficulties - but.
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Additional resources for Agriculture: The Food We Grow and Animals We Raise
Because there is a limited amount of soil, it must be properly cared for. There are several ways that farmers and ranchers take care of this valuable resource—many of which were learned after the Dust Bowl experience. Farmers can reduce the amount of tilling (disturbing and overturning the soil by plowing) that they do on the land. They can practice farming conservation by rotating crops, using buffer strips, keeping fields fallow, using compost in the soil, terracing steep land, strip cropping, contour farming, and not overgrazing livestock.
This keeps nutrients and water from being able to move around inside the soil to keep it fertile. Farmers and ranchers must also control rainfall runoff. Runoff water dissolves nutrients and removes them from the pasture as it flows over the soil surface. Soil erosion transports nutrients away. 49 50 agriculture It can also move contaminants, such as pesticides, that are attached to soil particles and redeposit them in other places, like rivers or lakes. Crop Resources There are many agricultural crops produced in the United States, and different commodities (items) are produced in different parts of the country.
Hay is especially important when there is no grass in the pasture during winter. Many farm animals eat hay, including horses, cattle, and elk. Another important piece of farm equipment is the combine harvester, which can reap, thresh, winnow, and store grain as it cuts a path through a field of wheat. Before the combine harvester was developed, it took the effort of many people to accomplish the same tasks. Technology is also important for raising livestock. Some animals, like pigs and chickens, are kept in huge farm buildings, where food and temperature can be carefully monitored and controlled.