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From Plows, Horses, and Harnesses to Precision Technologies in the North American Great Plains  

David E. Clay, Sharon A. Clay, Thomas DeSutter, and Cheryl Reese

Since the discovery that food security could be improved by pushing seeds into the soil and later harvesting a desirable crop, agriculture and agronomy have gone through cycles of ... More

Geography and Chronology of the Transition to Agriculture  

Peter Bogucki

Online publication date:
Dec 2019
After millennia of hunting and gathering, prehistoric human societies around the world made the transition to food production using domesticated plants and animals. Several key areas for ... More

History of Agriculture in the United States  

Pamela Riney-Kehrberg

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Agriculture is at the very center of the human enterprise; its trappings are in evidence all around, yet the agricultural past is an exceptionally distant place from modern America. While ... More

How Environmental Degradation Impoverishes the Poor  

Edward B. Barbier

Globally, around 1.5 billion people in developing countries, or approximately 35% of the rural population, can be found on less-favored agricultural land (LFAL), which is susceptible to ... More

Human Environmental Interrelationships and the Origins of Agriculture in Egypt and Sudan  

Simon Holdaway and Rebecca Phillipps

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Northeast Africa forms an interesting case study for investigating the relationship between changes in environment and agriculture. Major climatic changes in the early Holocene led to ... More

Hunter-Gatherer Economies in the Old World and New World  

Christopher Morgan, Shannon Tushingham, Raven Garvey, Loukas Barton, and Robert Bettinger

At the global scale, conceptions of hunter-gatherer economies have changed considerably over time and these changes were strongly affected by larger trends in Western history, philosophy, ... More

Indigenous American Agricultural Contributions to Modern Global Food Systems  

Maria C. Bruno

Online publication date:
Feb 2019
World food systems in the 21st century comprise domesticated plant and animal species that originated from nearly every continent on the globe, spread through exchange and trade, and have ... More

Indigenous Polynesian Agriculture in Hawaiʻi  

Noa Kekuewa Lincoln and Peter Vitousek

Agriculture in Hawaiʻi was developed in response to the high spatial heterogeneity of climate and landscape of the archipelago, resulting in a broad range of agricultural strategies. Over ... More

Industrial Fertilizers in Agriculture  

Gregory L. Willoughby

Online publication date:
Dec 2019
Agriculture has been said to be the key to civilization development. The longevity of the production of the soils which sustained the population development influenced, in fact caused, the ... More

Measuring Soil Loss and Subsequent Nutrient and Organic Matter Loss on Farmland  

Vito Ferro and Vincenzo Bagarello

Online publication date:
Jun 2017
Field plots are often used to obtain experimental data (soil loss values corresponding to different climate, soil, topographic, crop, and management conditions) for predicting and ... More

Nomadism  

Philip Carl Salzman

Online publication date:
Aug 2017
Nomadism is a technique of population movement used to accomplish a variety of goals. It is used for primary production when the resources to be tapped are distributed thinly over a wide ... More

Oats and Other Forage Crops  

Daren Redfearn

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. Please check back later for the full article. ... More

Organic Farming  

Theodore J. K. Radovich

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Organic farming occupies a unique position among the world’s agricultural systems. While not the only available model for sustainable food production, organic farmers and their supporters ... More

Origin and Development of Agriculture in New Guinea, Island Melanesia and Polynesia  

Tim Denham

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Early agricultural and arboricultural practices in the Pacific are based on vegetative principles, namely, the asexual propagation and transplantation of plants. A vegetative orientation ... More

Prehistoric and Traditional Agriculture in Lowland Mesoamerica  

Clarissa Cagnato

Online publication date:
Feb 2019
Mesoamerica is one of the world’s primary centers of domestication where agriculture arose independently. Paleoethnobotany (or archaeobotany), along with archaeology, epigraphy, and ... More

Pros and Cons of GMO Crop Farming  

Rene Van Acker, Motior Rahman, and S. Zahra H. Cici

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
The global area sown to genetically modified (GM) varieties of leading commercial crops (soybean, maize, canola, and cotton) has expanded over 100-fold over two decades. Thirty countries ... More

The Role of Cover Crops in Agriculture and Their Environmental Significance  

Helena Aronsson

Growing a cover crop between main crops imitates natural ecosystems where the soil is continuously covered with vegetation. This is an important management practice in preserving soil ... More

Seed Banking as Future Insurance Against Crop Collapses  

Fiona Hay

Online publication date:
Feb 2019
Food security is dependent on the work of plant scientists and breeders who develop new varieties of crops that are high yielding, nutritious, and tolerate a range of biotic and abiotic ... More

Social and Environmental Implications of Plantation Agriculture in Malaysia and Indonesia  

Jean-François Bissonnette and Rodolphe De Koninck

Online publication date:
Feb 2017
Plantation farming emerged as a large-scale system of specialized agriculture in the tropics under European colonialism, in opposition to smallholding subsistence agriculture. Despite ... More

Soil Quality as Affected by Intensive Versus Conservative Agricultural Managements  

Luigi Badalucco

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Soils, the earth’s skin, are at the intersection of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The persistence of life on our planet depends on the maintenance of soils as ... More

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