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Darwinian AgricultureHow Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture$
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R. Ford Denison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139500

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139500.001.0001

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What Do We Need from Agriculture?

What Do We Need from Agriculture?

(p.9) 2 What Do We Need from Agriculture?
Darwinian Agriculture

R. Ford Denison

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers some of the challenges that agriculture is facing now or will face in the near future, including resource-use efficiency and food security. It begins with a discussion of the goals of agriculture, such as improving productivity (yield per acre, to use no more land than necessary), efficiency in the use of scarce resources (to use no more water than necessary, for example), stability over years (to prevent even occasional famines), and sustainability (to maintain all of these benefits over the long term). It then examines the effects of agriculture on everyone, not just farmers, as well as agriculture's underlying long-term problems such as those relating to food supply, food production, and transportation. It also looks at threats to sustainability, particularly those farming practices that lead to long-term decreases in crop yield. Finally, it offers suggestions for limiting the negative environmental impact of agriculture.

Keywords:   agriculture, resource-use efficiency, food security, farmers, food supply, food production, transportation, sustainability, yield, environmental impact

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