Extensive farming is a type of agricultural system that relies on large land areas to produce relatively low yields of crops or livestock. This method of farming is characterized by low inputs of labor and capital, and is typically used in regions with ample land and harsh environmental conditions.
Extensive farming can be contrasted with intensive farming, which is characterized by high inputs of labor and capital, and produces high yields of crops or livestock. Intensive farming is typically used in regions with limited land and more favorable environmental conditions.
The practice of extensive farming has a long history, dating back to the earliest days of human civilization. It has been used in many countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina. In the past, it was the dominant form of agriculture in these countries, but it has since been largely replaced by intensive farming.
One example of extensive farming is the production of beef in the western United States, where large ranches cover thousands of acres of land and rely on natural grazing to produce low yields of beef. Another example is the production of sheep in Australia, where flocks are raised on vast tracts of land and rely on natural forage to produce wool and meat.
Today, it is still an important form of agriculture in many parts of the world, particularly in regions with large amounts of land and harsh environmental conditions. However, its global significance has been in decline in recent years as intensive farming has become more prevalent.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, extensive farming accounts for approximately 60% of global agricultural land. However, this land produces only about 20% of global food supply.
Scientific studies have shown that it can have a number of positive and negative effects on the environment. On the positive side, extensive farming can help to preserve natural habitats and biodiversity, and can also reduce the risk of soil erosion and nutrient depletion. On the negative side, it can lead to overgrazing and desertification, and can also contribute to air and water pollution.
Despite its declining global significance, extensive farming remains an important source of food and income for many rural communities around the world. It also plays an important role in preserving natural habitats and biodiversity, and in supporting a wide range of ecosystem services.
The effects of extensive farming can be both positive and negative. Positive effects include the preservation of natural habitats and biodiversity, and reduced risk of soil erosion and nutrient depletion. Negative effects include overgrazing and desertification, air and water pollution, and other environmental problems.
The causes of extensive farming are largely related to the availability of land and environmental conditions. In regions with large amounts of land and harsh environmental conditions, it is often the only viable option for producing crops or livestock. However, as land becomes more scarce and environmental conditions become more favorable, intensive farming becomes more prevalent.
There are a number of scientific concerns associated with extensive farming, including overgrazing and desertification, air and water pollution, and other environmental problems. These concerns have led to calls for more sustainable and responsible forms of agriculture.
There are different types of extensive farming, including grazing systems for cattle, sheep, and goats, as well as extensive cropping systems for cereals and other crops. The role of extensive farming is to produce food and other products from relatively large land areas with low inputs of labor and capital.
The management of extensive farming is characterized by low inputs of labor and capital. The key management practices in extensive farming include selecting appropriate breeds of livestock, providing adequate access to water and forage, and implementing rotational grazing systems. The use of appropriate breeds of livestock is important as they are better adapted to the harsh environmental conditions and are more resistant to disease and parasites. Providing adequate access to water and forage is critical for maintaining the health and productivity of the livestock. Rotation grazing systems, which involve moving the livestock from one pasture to another at regular intervals, are used to prevent overgrazing and to promote the growth of vegetation.
There are a number of factors that can impact the success of extensive farming. These include the availability of land and water, the quality of the soil, and the local climate. The availability of land and water is critical for extensive farming, as it requires large land areas to produce relatively low yields of crops or livestock. The quality of the soil is also an important factor, as it can lead to soil erosion and nutrient depletion if the soil is not managed properly. The local climate is also a significant factor, as regions with harsh environmental conditions are more suitable for extensive farming than regions with more favorable conditions.
Another important factor that can impact extensive farming is government policies and regulations. Government policies and regulations can have a significant impact on the success of extensive farming by influencing the availability of land, water, and other resources, as well as the cost of inputs such as labor and capital. Additionally, government policies can also have an impact on the demand for the products of extensive farming, such as beef and sheep, by affecting trade and pricing.
In conclusion, extensive farming is an agricultural system that relies on large land areas to produce relatively low yields of crops or livestock. It is typically used in regions with ample land and harsh environmental conditions, and remains an important source of food and income for many rural communities around the world. Its success depends on a variety of factors, including the availability of land and water, the quality of the soil, the local climate, and government policies and regulations.