Agriculture Quiz

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9 Questions

What percentage of the world's farmland is operated by the largest one percent of farms?

70%

What is the main source of toxins released into the environment?

Agro-chemical pesticides

What is the percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by the livestock sector?

15%

What percentage of all land used for agriculture is occupied by livestock production?

70%

What is the estimated annual work-related death toll among agricultural employees?

170,000

What is the main cause of biodiversity loss?

Land transformation

Which sector surpassed agriculture as the largest global employer in 2007?

Service

What is the percentage of the global population employed in agriculture?

Less than 10%

What is the estimated percentage of the world's food that is lost from production before reaching the retail level?

14%

Study Notes

Agriculture: A Summary of Cultivation of Plants and Animals

  • Agriculture includes crop and livestock production, aquaculture, fisheries, and forestry for food and non-food products.

  • Agriculture enabled the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities.

  • Small farms produce about a third of the world's food, but large farms are prevalent. The largest one percent of farms in the world are greater than 50 hectares and operate more than 70 percent of the world's farmland.

  • The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials.

  • Global agricultural production amounts to approximately 11 billion tonnes of food, 32 million tonnes of natural fibers, and 4 billion m3 of wood. However, around 14 percent of the world's food is lost from production before reaching the retail level.

  • Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased crop yields, but also contributed to ecological and environmental damage.

  • Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.

  • Agricultural pollution causes environmental degradation, such as biodiversity loss, desertification, soil degradation, and climate change, all of which can cause decreases in crop yield.

  • Agriculture is both a cause of and sensitive to environmental degradation, such as biodiversity loss, desertification, soil degradation, and climate change.

  • Pastoralism, shifting cultivation, subsistence farming, and intensive farming are the main types of agriculture.

  • Despite increases in agricultural production and productivity, between 702 and 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021.

  • Agriculture provides about one-quarter of all global employment, more than half in sub-Saharan Africa and almost 60 percent in low-income countries.Agriculture: Production, Safety, and Employment

  • The percentage of the global population employed in agriculture has decreased significantly over the past century, from 35-65% to less than 10% in many countries.

  • The service sector surpassed agriculture as the largest global employer in 2007.

  • Immigrants often fill labor shortages in high-value agriculture activities in developed countries.

  • Women make up a large share of the agricultural workforce, with the share growing in all developing regions except East and Southeast Asia.

  • Agriculture remains a hazardous industry, with farmers at high risk for work-related injuries, lung disease, and certain cancers related to chemical use and prolonged sun exposure.

  • The annual work-related death toll among agricultural employees is estimated to be at least 170,000, twice the average rate of other jobs.

  • Production systems in agriculture vary depending on resources, geography, climate, government policy, and philosophy and culture of the farmer.

  • Livestock production systems can be defined based on feed source, with grassland-based, mixed, and landless systems being most common.

  • There has been a significant increase in livestock production, with beef, pigs, and chickens showing the greatest increase in production.

  • Agricultural automation involves the use of machinery and equipment to improve diagnosis, decision-making, and performing of agricultural operations.

  • Climate change affects agriculture through changes in average temperatures, rainfall, and extreme weather events, which can impact crop yields and increase pest and disease pressure.

  • Adoption of agricultural technologies in combination with one another has the greatest potential to impact agricultural productivity and reduce the number of people at risk of hunger.The Impact of Agriculture on the Environment

  • Global warming is affecting agriculture with unevenly distributed effects across the world, including slowing growth of agricultural productivity, negative impacts on crop yields, and decreased sustainable yields of some wild fish populations.

  • Plant breeding techniques, such as selection with desirable traits, molecular techniques that genetically modify the organism, and conventional hybridization, have significantly improved the characteristics of crop plants.

  • Genetic engineering has expanded the genes available to breeders to use in creating desired germlines for new crops, including increased durability, nutritional content, insect and virus resistance, and herbicide tolerance.

  • Agriculture is the main source of toxins released into the environment, including insecticides, agro-chemical pesticides, and herbicides, as well as fossil fuel-energy inputs.

  • Livestock production is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases, responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents, and occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture.

  • Land transformation, the use of land to yield goods and services, is the most substantial way humans alter the Earth's ecosystems, and is the driving force causing biodiversity loss.

  • Eutrophication, excessive nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems, leads to fish kills, loss of biodiversity, and renders water unfit for drinking and other industrial uses.

  • Agriculture accounts for 70% of withdrawals of freshwater resources, and agricultural water usage can cause major environmental problems, including the destruction of natural wetlands, the spread of water-borne diseases, and land degradation through salinization and waterlogging.

  • Pesticide use has increased since 1950 to 2.5 million short tons annually worldwide, yet crop loss from pests has remained relatively constant, and pesticides select for pesticide resistance in the pest population.

  • Agriculture contributes towards climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and by the conversion of non-agricultural land such as forests into agricultural land.

  • Current farming methods have resulted in over-stretched water resources, high levels of erosion, and reduced soil fertility.

  • Technological advancements, such as conservation tillage and digital automation technologies, help provide farmers with tools and resources to make farming more sustainable.

  • Other potential sustainable practices include conservation agriculture, agroforestry, improved grazing, avoided grassland conversion, and biochar.The Impact of Agriculture - Summary

  • Agricultural productivity has increased due to the increased use of energy-intensive mechanization, fertilizers, and pesticides, which has raised concerns that oil shortages could reduce agricultural output.

  • Plastic products are used extensively in agriculture, including to increase crop yields. However, they are often buried or abandoned in fields and watercourses or burned, leading to soil degradation and contamination of soils and leakage of microplastics into the marine environment.

  • Agricultural science is a broad multidisciplinary field of biology that encompasses the parts of exact, natural, economic, and social sciences used in the practice and understanding of agriculture.

  • Governments implement agricultural policies with the goal of achieving a specific outcome in the domestic agricultural product markets. Policy programs can range from financial programs, such as subsidies, to encouraging producers to enroll in voluntary quality assurance programs.

  • Globally, support to agricultural producers accounts for almost US$540 billion a year, which is heavily biased towards measures that are leading to inefficiency, as well as are unequally distributed and harmful for the environment and human health.

  • Agricultural economics is economics as it relates to the "production, distribution, and consumption of [agricultural] goods and services". Combining agricultural production with general theories of marketing and business as a discipline of study began in the late 1800s.

  • National government policies, such as taxation, subsidies, tariffs, and others, can significantly change the economic marketplace for agricultural products.

  • Agricultural policy can touch on food quality, ensuring that the food supply is of a consistent and known quality, food security, ensuring that the food supply meets the population's needs, and conservation.

  • The food demand of Earth's projected population, with current climate change predictions, could be satisfied by improvement of agricultural methods, expansion of agricultural areas, and a sustainability-oriented consumer mindset.

  • Market concentration has increased in the agricultural sector, and although the total effect of the increased market concentration is likely increased efficiency, the changes redistribute economic surplus from producers (farmers) and consumers, and may have negative implications for rural communities.

  • Agricultural systems contribute to about 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the livestock sector accounting for nearly 15% of emissions.

  • There is a risk that plastic mulch will deteriorate soil quality, deplete soil organic matter stocks, increase soil water repellence, and emit greenhouse gases. Microplastics released through fragmentation of agricultural plastics can absorb and concentrate contaminants capable of being passed up the trophic chain.

  • Agriculture accounts for less than one-fifth of food system energy use in the US, with direct and indirect consumption by US farms accounting for about 2% of the nation's energy use.

Think you know everything about agriculture? Test your knowledge with our agriculture quiz! From the history of agriculture to its impact on the environment, this quiz covers a wide range of topics related to the cultivation of plants and animals. See if you can answer questions about the types of agriculture, agricultural production, employment, and the impact of agriculture on the environment. With questions ranging from easy to challenging, this quiz is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about agriculture.

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