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Farmers are among the most likely to die by suicide, in comparison to other occupations, according to a study published in January 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Researchers at the University of Iowa found that farmers, and others in the agricultural trade, had the highest suicide rate of all occupations from 1992 to 2010, the years they studied in 2017. Soil exhaustion was a huge problem in New England agriculture. Farming with oxen did allow the colonist to farm more land but it increased erosion and decreased soil fertility. This was due to deeper plow cuts in the soil that allowed the soil more contact with oxygen causing nutrient depletion. In grazing fields in New England, the soil was being compacted by the large number of cattle and this did not give the soil enough oxygen to sustain life.

In Nigeria, for example, the Fulani people have long been nomads. They move with their cattle herds from one grazing area to another. The cattle feed on scrub and grasses in land unsuitable for farming. The Fulani rely on cattle for milk, but rarely slaughter their animals for meat. They use the bulk of the food they produce for themselves and their families, unlike commercial farmers, who only grow crops to sell. Water from streams onto their fields, farmers were able to settle in areas once thought to be unsuited to agriculture.

 

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Agricultural biotechnology has been used to protect crops from devastating diseases. The papaya ringspot virus threatened to derail the Hawaiian papaya industry until papayas resistant to the disease were developed through genetic engineering. Research on potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and other crops continues in a similar manner to provide resistance to viral diseases that otherwise are very difficult to control. The USDA is one of the best resources of accurate agriculture information. Their website provides you with essential crop content with a plethora of resources and crop productiondata including maps, charts, production reports and market news. Overpopulation has pushed a growing number of farmers onto lands too fragile to sustain cultivation.

Where biotech crops are grown in proximity to related plants, the potential for the two plants to exchange traits via pollen must be evaluated before release. Crop plants of all kinds can exchange traits with their close wild relatives when they are in proximity. In the case of biotech-derived crops, the EPA and USDA perform risk assessments to evaluate this possibility and minimize potential harmful consequences, if any. Biotech crops may provide enhanced quality traits such as increased levels of beta-carotene in rice to aid in reducing vitamin A deficiencies and improved oil compositions in canola, soybean, and corn. Crops with the ability to grow in salty soils or better withstand drought conditions are also in the works and the first such products are just entering the marketplace. Such innovations may be increasingly important in adapting to or in some cases helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In either case the result is improved soil quality at a polluted site. Biotechnology provides farmers with tools that can make production cheaper and more manageable. For example, some biotechnology crops can be engineered to tolerate specific herbicides, which make weed control simpler and more efficient. Other crops have been engineered to be resistant to specific plant diseases and insect pests, which can make pest control more reliable and effective, and/or can decrease the use of synthetic pesticides. These crop production options can help countries keep pace with demands for food while reducing production costs.

Scholars are not sure why this shift to farming took place, but it may have occurred because of climate change. Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops and raising livestock. Garden Culture is a magazine and blog by growers for growers. With consistently fresh and current content online, we have a large readership, and our magazine distributes in eight countries on three continents.

These products, as well as the agricultural methods used, may vary from one part of the world to another. Your article must be original work that hasn’t been published elsewhere. No copy-pasted articles from anywhere else, even your own site. We are always looking for passionate and talented individuals to contribute useful, interesting and informative articles to our site. The content should be creative, unique, well-researched and not published elsewhere. If you sent a submission, we will read it and provide you with a decision.

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