Commercial vs Subsistence Agriculture

Topics: Agriculture, Slash and burn, Population density Pages: 3 (801 words) Published: April 25, 2011
Commercial Agriculture vs. Subsistence Agriculture

Commercial Agriculture is agriculture undertaken primarily to generate products for sale off the farm and make a profit. These products are normally sold wholesaler or retail outlets (e.g. Supermarkets). In the United States Commercial Farming takes place in Midwest on huge farms tended by very few people, but yield massive amount of product. There are three types of commercial agriculture. The first is Intensive Commercial Agriculture. Intensive Commercial Agriculture is practiced in areas where large amounts of capital (machinery, fertilizers) and/or labor per unit of land are used with the crops being sold in the market place. This type of commercial agriculture would be most frequently used in an area where the population pressure is reducing the size of landholdings. An advantage of this kind of farming is that it yields a very, allowing food to be had for cheaper. One of the disadvantages is intensive farming involves the usage of various kinds of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides, poisoning the land.

The second type of Commercial Agriculture is Extensive Commercial Farming. It is a system of agriculture in which relatively small amounts of capital or labor investment are applied to relatively large areas of land. Some characteristics of Extensive Commercial Farming are large areas under cultivation due to the cost of machines, monoculture of cash crops, mainly wheat, low yield and cheap land means farms are huge, low Population Density so there are few signs of workers as most work is done by machines, there is a marginal Climate- too cold and dry, and hedges and trees have been removed to allow easy access for large machines. Some of the disadvantages to this kind of agriculture are droughts occur occasionally, hail and early cold snaps can ruin crops, without vegetation’s cover, the soil is vulnerable to erosion, in drier areas wheat may be grown by dry farming methods which...
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