Thursday, March 24, 2011

Types of farms

             A business producing tree fruits or nuts is called an orchard; a vineyard produces grapes. The stable is used for operations principally involved in the training of horses. Stud and commercial farms breed and produce other animals and livestock. A farm that is primarily used for the production of milk and dairy is a dairy farm. A market garden or truck farm is a farm that grows vegetables, but little or no grain. Additional specialty farms include fish farms, which raise fish in captivity as a food source, and tree farms, which grow trees for sale for transplant, lumber, or decorative use. A plantation is usually a large farm or estate, on which cotton, tobacco, coffee or sugar cane, are cultivated, usually by resident laborers.

Types of farming
  1. Collective farming
  2. Factory farming
  3. Intensive farming
  4. Protected culture farming
  5. Organic farming
  6. Vertical farming
  7. Fell farming

Collective farming

             Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise. This type of collective is essentially an agricultural production cooperative in which members-owners engage jointly in farming activities.Typical examples of collective farms are the kolkhozy that dominated Soviet agriculture between 1930 and 1992 and the Israeli kibbutzim. Both are collective farms based on common ownership of resources and on pooling of labor and income in accordance with the theoretical principles of cooperative organizations. They are radically different, however, in the application of the cooperative principles of freedom of choice and democratic rule.The creation of kolkhozy in the Soviet Union during the country-wide collectivization campaign of 1928-1933 was an example of forced collectivization, whereas the kibbutzim in Israel were traditionally created through voluntary collectivization and were governed as democratic entities. The element of forced or state-sponsored collectivization that was present in many countries during the 20th century led to the impression that collective farms operate under the supervision of the state, but this is not universally true, as shown by the counter-example of the Israeli kibbutz.

Factory farming
       Factory farming is a term referring to the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses.The main product of this industry is meat, milk and eggs for human consumption. The term is often used in a pejorative sense, criticising large scale farming processes which confine animals.Confinement at high stocking density is one part of a systematic effort to produce the highest output at the lowest cost by relying on economies of scale, modern machinery, biotechnology, and global trade. Confinement at high stocking density requires antibiotics and pesticides to mitigate the spread of disease and pestilence exacerbated by these crowded living conditions. In addition, antibiotics are used to stimulate livestock growth by killing intestinal bacteria. There are differences in the way factory farming techniques are practiced around the world. There is a continuing debate over the benefits and risks of factory farming. The issues include the efficiency of food production; animal welfare; whether it is essential for feeding the growing global human population; the environmental impact and the health risks.

 Intensive farming

Intensive farming or intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs of capital, labour, or heavy usage of technologies such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers relative to land area.This is in contrast to many sorts of sustainable agriculture such as organic farming or extensive agriculture, which involve a relatively low input of labour, relative to the area of land farmed, and which focus on maintaining long-term ecological health of farmland, so that it can be farmed indefinitely.Modern day forms of intensive crop based agriculture involve the use of mechanical ploughing, chemical fertilizers, plant growth regulators and/or pesticides. It is associated with the increasing use of agricultural mechanization, which have enabled a substantial increase in production, yet have also dramatically increased environmental pollution by increasing erosion and poisoning water with agricultural chemicals.Intensive animal farming practices can involve very large numbers of animals raised on limited land which require large amounts of food, water and medical inputs . Very large or confined indoor intensive livestock operations  are often referred to as Factory farming and are criticised by opponents for the low level of animal welfare standards and associated pollution and health issues.

Protected culture farming
Organic farming

                  Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms.Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972. IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as:
"Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.."—International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
Since 1990, the market for organic products has grown from nothing, reaching $55 billion in 2009 according to Organic Monitor . This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland. Approximately 37,000,000 hectares  worldwide are now farmed organically, representing approximately 0.9 percent of total world farmland

 Vertical farming

         Vertical farming is a concept that argues that it is economically and environmentally viable to cultivate plant or animal life within skyscrapers.

This generally falls within two categories.

1) The first is that of Dr. Dickson Despommier, an American ecologist. Despommier argues that 'vertical farming' is legitimate due to environmental reasons. He purports that the cultivation of plant and animal life within skyscrapers will produce less embedded energy and toxicity than plant and animal life produced on natural landscapes. He claims that natural landscapes are too toxic for natural, agricultural production. This is despite the ecological and evironmental costs of extracting materials to build skyscrapers for the simple purpose of agricultural production. Vertical farming according to Despommier thus discounts the value of natural landscape in exchange for the idea of 'skyscraper as spaceship'. Plant and animal life are mass produced within hermetically sealed, artificial environments that have little to do with the outside world. In this sense, they could be built anywhere regardless of the context. This is not advantageous to energy consumption as the internal environment must be maintained to sustain life within the skyscraper.Dickson Despommier's 'The Vertical Farm', promotes the mass cultivation of plant and animal life for commercial purposes in Skyscrapers. This concept emerged in 1999 at Columbia University by American ecologist Dickson Despommier. Using advanced greenhouse technology such as hydroponics and aeroponics, these Skyscrapers could theoretically produce fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables. While the concept of stacked agricultural production is not new, a commercial high-rise farm such as 'The Vertical Farm' has never been built.
Proponents argue that, by allowing traditional outdoor farms to revert to a natural state and reducing the energy costs needed to transport foods to consumers, vertical farms could significantly alleviate climate change produced by excess atmospheric carbon. Critics have noted that the costs of the additional energy needed for artificial lighting, heating and other vertical farming operations would outweigh the benefit of the building’s close proximity to the areas of consumption.
2) The second category of vertical farming falls under the concepts proposed and built by the architect Ken Yeang developed at least ten years before Despommier. Yeang proposes that instead of hermetically sealed mass produced agriculture that plant life should be cultivated within open air, mixed-use skyscrapers for climate control and consumption (i.e. a personal or communal planting space as per the needs of the individual). This version of vertical farming is based upon personal or community use rather than the wholesale production and distribution plant and animal life that aspires to feed an entire city. It thus requires less of an initial investment than Despommier's 'The Vertical Farm'. However, neither Despommier nor Yeang are the conceptual 'originators', as seen in the following section

Fell farming

      Fell farming is the farming of fells, i.e. areas of uncultivated high ground used as common grazing. It is a term commonly used in Northern England, especially in the Lake District and the Pennine Dales. Elsewhere, the terms hill farming or pastoral farming are more commonly used.

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