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Agricultural chemistry is the study of both chemistry and biochemistry which are important in agriculturalproduction, the processing of raw products into foods and beverages, and in environmentalmonitoring and remediation. These studies emphasize the relationships between plants, animals and bacteria and their environment.
Agricultural chemistry often aims at preserving or increasing the fertility of soil, maintaining or improving the agricultural yield, and improving the quality of the crop.
In 1815, Humphry Davy publishes â€œElements of Agricultural Chemistryâ€�, (one of?) the first scientific study on the subject.
In 1840, Justus von Liebig publishes â€œChemistry in its application to agriculture and physiologyâ€�.
Notes & references
Agricultural economics originally applied the principles of economics to the production of crops and livestockâ€” a discipline known as agronomics. Agronomics was a branch of economics that specifically dealt with land usage. It focused on maximizing the crop yield while maintaining a good soil ecosystem. Throughout the 20th century the discipline expanded and the current scope of the discipline is much broader. Agricultural economics today includes a variety of applied areas, having considerable overlap with conventional economics.
Economics is the study of resource allocation under scarcity. Agronomics, or the application of economic methods to optimizing the decisions made by agricultural producers, grew to prominence around the turn of the 20th century. The field of agricultural economics can be traced out to works on land economics. Henry Charles Taylor was the greatest contributor with the establishment of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Wisconsin in 1909
Another contributor, Theodore Schultz was among the first to examine development economics as a problem related directly to agriculture. Schultz was also instrumental in establishing econometrics as a tool for use in analyzing agricultural economics empirically; he noted in his landmark 1956 article that agricultural supply analysis is rooted in "shifting sand," implying that it was and is simply not being done correctly.
One scholar summarizes the development of agricultural economics as follows:
"Agricultural economics arose in the late 19th century, combined the theory of the firm with marketing and organization theory, and developed throughout the 20th century largely as an empirical branch of general economics. The discipline was closely linked to empirical applications of mathematical statistics and made early and significant contributions to econometric methods. In the 1960's and afterwards, as agricultural sectors in the OECD countries contracted, agricultural economists were drawn to the development problems of poor countries, to the trade and macroeconomic policy implications of agriculture in rich countries, and to a variety of production, consumption, and environmental and resource problems."
Agricultural economists have made many well-known contributions to the economics field with such models as the cobweb model, hedonic regression pricing models, new technology and diffusion models (Zvi Griliches), multifactor productivity and efficiency theory and measurement, and the random coefficients regression. The farm sector is frequently cited as a prime example of the perfect competition economic paradigm.
Since the 1970s, agricultural economics has primarily focused on seven main topics, according to a scholar in the field: agricultural environment and resources; risk and uncertainty; consumption and food supply chains; prices and incomes; market structures; trade and development; and technical change and human capital; .
In terms of technical change, there have been increasingly rapid developments and innovations in the equipment designed for agricultural research. This equipment includes instruments for plant physiology research, and monitoring soil conditions and atmospheres.
Areas of concentration
- International development
- Community and rural development
- Food safety and nutrition
- International trade
- Natural resource and environmental economics
- Production economics
- Risk and uncertainty
- Consumer behavior and household economics
- Health economics
- Labor economics
- Forestry economics
- Analysis of markets and competition
- Agricultural marketing
- Agricultural policy
- Industrial organization
- Marketing of agricultural products
- Rural economics
- Rural sociology
Agricultural economics tends to be more microeconomic oriented. Many undergraduate Agricultural Economics degrees given by US land-grant universities tend to be more like a traditional business degree rather than a traditional economics degree. At the graduate level, many agricultural economics programs focus on a wide variety of applied microeconomic topics. Their demand is driven by their pragmatism, optimization and decision making skills, and their skills in statistical modelling. Graduates from Agricultural Economics departments across America find jobs in diversified sectors of the economy:
- Breweries, distilleries, bottling plants
- Cigarette manufacturing
- Food processing - eg. flour mill
- Food manufacture - eg. cake factory
- Furniture manufacturing; production of linens, drapes, carpet
- Government & NGOs
- Information technology
- Leather tanning, footwear manufacturing, handbag production
- Logistics & supply chains
- Pulp and paper
- Sawmills, lumber mills, wood products
- Textiles processing and garment manufacturing
Precision farming or precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing and responding to intra-field variations. It relies on new technologies like satellite imagery and information technology. It is also aided by farmersâ€™ ability to locate their position in a field using satellite positioning system like GPS.
Precision agriculture issues
Precision agriculture aims to optimize field-level management with regard to:
- crop science: by matching farming practices more closely to crop needs (e.g. fertilizer inputs);
- environmental protection: by reducing environmental risks and footprint of farming (e.g. limiting leaching of nitrogen);
- economics: by boosting competitiveness through more efficient practices (e.g. better management of nitrogen fertilizer usage and costs).
Precision agriculture also provides farmers with a wealth of information to:
- build up a record of their farm;
- improve decision-making;
- foster greater traceability
- enhance the inherent quality of farm products (e.g. protein level in bread-flour wheat)
Stages and tools
Precision agriculture is a four-stage process using techniques to observe spatial variability:
Geolocation of data
Geolocating a field enables the farmer to overlay information gathered from analysis of soils and residual nitrogen, and information on previous crops and soil resistivity. Geolocation is done in two ways:
- The field is delineated using an in-vehicle GPS receiver as the farmer drives a tractor around the field.
- The field is delineated on a basemap derived from aerial or satellite imagery. The base images must have the right level of resolution and geometric quality to ensure that geolocation is sufficiently accurate.
Intra- and inter-field variability may result from a number of factors. These include climatic conditions (hail, drought, rain, etc. ), soils (texture, depth, nitrogen levels), cropping practices (no-till farming), weeds and disease. Permanent indicatorsâ€”chiefly soil indicatorsâ€”provide farmers with information about the main environmental constants. Point indicators allow them to track a cropâ€™s status, i.e., to see whether diseases are developing, if the crop is suffering from water stress, nitrogen stress, or lodging, whether it has been damaged by ice and so on. This information may come from weather stations and other sensors (soil electrical resistivity, detection with the naked eye, satellite imagery, etc.). Soil resistivity measurements combined with soil analysis make it possible to precisely map agro-pedological conditions.
Decision-making â€“ two strategies for dealing with variability
Using soil maps, farmers can pursue two strategies to adjust field inputs:
- Predictive approach: based on analysis of static indicators (soil, resistivity, field history, etc.) during the crop cycle.
- Control approach: information from static indicators is regularly updated during the crop cycle by:
- sampling: weighing biomass, measuring leaf chlorophyll content, weighing fruit, etc.
- remote sensing: measuring parameters like temperature (air/soil), humidity (air/soil/leaf), wind or stem diameter is possible thanks to Wireless Sensor Networks
- proxy-detection: in-vehicle sensors measure leaf status; this requires the farmer to drive around the entire field.
- aerial or satellite remote sensing: multispectral imagery is acquired and processed to derive maps of crop biophysical parameters.
Decisions may be based on decision-support models (crop simulation models and recommendation models), but in the final analysis it is up to the farmer to decide in terms of business value and impacts on the environment.
Implementing practices to remedy variability
New information and communication technologies (NICT) make field-level crop management more operational and easier to achieve for farmers. Application of crop management decisions calls for farming equipment that supports variable-rate technology (VRT), for example varying seed density along with variable-rate application (VRA) of nitrogen and phytosanitary products.
Precision agriculture uses special equipment on board the farmerâ€™s tractor:
- positioning system (e.g. GPS receivers that use satellite signals to precisely determine a position on the globe);
- geographic information systems (GIS), i.e., software that makes sense of all the available data;
- variable-rate farming equipment (seeder, spreader).
Precision agriculture around the world
The concept of precision agriculture first emerged in the United States in the early 1980s. In 1985, researchers at the University of Minnesota varied lime inputs in crop fields. It was also at this time that the practice of grid sampling appeared (applying a fixed grid of one sample per hectare). Towards the end of the 1980s, this technique was used to derive the first input recommendation maps for fertilizers and pH corrections. The use of yield sensors developed from new technologies, combined with the advent of GPS receivers, has been gaining ground ever since. Today, such systems cover several million hectares. In the American Midwest (US) it is associated not with sustainable agriculture but with mainstream farmers who are trying to maximize profits by spending money only in areas that require fertilizer. This practice allows the farmer to vary the rate of fertilizer across the field according to the need identified by GPS guided Grid or Zone Sampling. Fertilizer that would have been spread in areas that don't need it can be placed in areas that do, thereby optimizing its use. Around the world, precision agriculture developed at a varying pace. Prec
Agricultural chemistry must be considered within the context of the soil ecosystem in which living and nonliving components interact in complicated cycles that are critical to all living things. Carbon inputs from photosynthetic organisms ultimately provide the fuel for many soil organisms to grow and reproduce. Soil organisms, in turn, promote organic carbon degradation and catalyze the release of nutrients required for plant growth. The stability and productivity of agricultural ecosystems rely on efficient functioning of these and other processes, whereby carbon and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are recycled. Human-induced perturbations to the system, such as those that occur with pesticide or fertilizer application, alter ecosystem processes, sometimes with negative environmental consequences. Soil is the primary medium in which biological activity and chemical reactions occur. It is a three-phase system consisting of solid, liquid, and gas. Approximately 50 percent of the volume in a typical agricultural soil is solid material classified chemically as either organic or inorganic compounds. Organic materials usually constitute 1 to 5 percent of the weight of the solid phase. The remainder of the soil volume is pore space that is either filled with gases such as CO2 and O2, or water. Surface area and charge characteristics of the inorganic portion of the solid phase control chemical reactivity. Soil particles are classified based on their size, with sand-sized particles having diameters of 2 to 0.05 millimeters (0.08 to 0.002 inches) and silt-sized particles from 0.05 to 0.002 millimeters (0.002 to 0.00008 inches). Clay-sized materials of less than 0.002 millimeters (0.00008 inches) in diameter have the largest surface area per unit weight, reaching as much as 800 meters (2,625 feet) squared per gram. Because of large surface areas, clay-sized materials greatly influence the sorption of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides and play a major role in catalyzing reactions. Crystalline layer silicates or phyllosilicates present in the clay-sized fraction are especially important because they function as ion exchangers. Most phyllosilicates have a net negative charge and thus attract cations. This cation exchange capacity (CEC) controls whether plant nutrients, pesticides, and other charged molecules are retained in soil or if they are transported out of the soil system. In contrast, aluminum and iron oxides also present in the clay-sized fraction typically possess a net positive charge or an anion exchange capacity (AEC). Soils in temperate regions are dominated most often by solid phase materials that impart a net CEC, whereas soils in tropical regions often contain oxides that contribute substantial AEC. Organic materials contained within the solid phase, although only a small percentage of the total soil weight, are extremely important in controlling chemical and physical processes in soil. Organic matter exists in the form of recognizable molecules such as proteins and organic acids, and in large polymers called humic materials or humus. Humus is dominated by acidic functional groups (âˆ’OH and âˆ’COOH) capable of developing a negative charge and contributing substantial CEC. These large polymers possess a three-dimensional conformation that creates hydrophobic regions important in retaining nonionic synthetic organic compounds such as pesticides. Nonionic pesticides partition into these hydrophobic regions, thereby decreasing off-site movement and biological availability (see Figure 1). A wide variety of organisms live in soil, including microorganisms not visible to the naked eye such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, some algae, and viruses. Bacteria are present in the largest numbers, but fungi produce more biomass per unit weight of soil than any other group of microorganisms. Much of agricultural chemistry as it relates to nutrient cycles, pesticide transformation, plant growth, and organic matter degradation involves the participation of microorganisms. Microorganisms produce both intracellular and extracellular enzymes that increase reaction rates, oxidize and reduce organic and inorganic compounds, and synthesize organic molecules that modify soil chemical and physical properties. Additional organisms in soil such as insects, nematodes, and earthworms also alter the soil ecosystem in a manner that directly or indirectly affects chemical reactions. These organisms physically process plant-derived organic materials prior to biochemical degradation by microorganisms. Nutrient release from organic materials is thus accelerated because the meso- and macrofauna expose more organic matter surface area to microbial breakdown and redistribute such materials in soil to areas of intense microbial activity. In addition, bioturbation may also cause physical changes to the soil structure that increase pore space or modify water movement. Changes in O2 concentration or soil water content will control biotic and abiotic reactions, altering rates of nutrient cycling and organic matter degradation. Plant roots also modify soil by producing a zone of intense biological activity called the rhizosphere. This is a region of soil influenced by the root, most often delineated by comparing microbial numbers at greater distance from the root surface. Carbon compounds exuded or sloughed off from roots are used as a food source by microorganisms, thereby causing increased growth and activity. Microbial numbers above those of the bulk soil, which displays no root influence, indicate that the rhizosphere extends to 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) or less. Rhizosphere microorganisms that capitalize on carbon from the plant root interact physically and biochemically with the root, potentially producing positive or negative effects on plant growth. Biological availabilities and transport phenomena of ions and molecules in soil are controlled by the type of bonding that occurs with the solid phase. Ions such as those typically formed when amending soils with inorganic fertilizers interact with high surface area clay and humic colloids to form either outer- or inner-sphere complexes (see Figure 1). Outer-sphere complexes result when ions, electrostatically attracted to an oppositely charged colloidal surface, retain their shell of hydrating water molecules. These loosely held ions satisfy the excess positive or negative charge of the colloid, but are separated from the colloid's surface by one or more layers of water. In contrast, inner-sphere complexes form when the ion loses its hydration water to form a much stronger covalent bond with the colloid. Nutrient ions held in outer-sphere complexes are plant-available because they may be exchanged with ions of the same charge, but nutrients held by an inner-sphere mechanism are not available until the covalent bond is broken. Most soils contain a net CEC often reported in centimoles of charge per kilogram of soil (cmolc/kg). Biological and physical characteristics of the soil are controlled by the amount of CEC and the specific cations involved. Soils dominated by high surface area clays or humus display the highest CECs, whereas soils with large amounts of sand or silt, and only small amounts of humus, exhibit much lower CECs. Highly charged cations with small hydrated radii such as Al3+ are more tightly held on the CEC and less likely to exchange than larger, less highly charged cations such as Na+. This general relationship is superseded when a specific inner-sphere complex forms such as between Cu2+ and humus, or K+ and clay. An even more dramatic example is that of two plant nutrients, NO3âˆ’ and PO43âˆ’. Negatively charged NO3âˆ’ readily leaches out of soil, but PO43âˆ’ is retained quite strongly because it forms an inner-sphere complex (see Figure 1). The percentage of the CEC occupied by specific cations influences soil pH and associated characteristics relevant to plant growth and soil biological activity. Only the most strongly held cations remain in soils in high rainfall areas. Al3+ dominates the CEC, hydrolyzing when released from the solid phase to the soil solution to form acidic soils w
agriculture science and practice of producing crops and livestock from the natural resources of the earth. The primary aim of agriculture is to cause the land to produce more abundantly and at the same time to protect it from deterioration and misuse. The diverse branches of modern agriculture include agronomy , horticulture , economic entomology , animal husbandry , dairying , agricultural engineering, soil chemistry, and agricultural economics. Early Agriculture Early people depended for their survival on hunting, fishing, and food gathering. To this day, some groups still pursue this simple way of life, and others have continued as roving herders (see nomad ). However, as various groups of people undertook deliberate cultivation of wild plants and domestication of wild animals, agriculture came into being. Cultivation of cropsâ€”notably grains such as wheat, rice, corn, rye, barley, and milletâ€”encouraged settlement of stable farm communities, some of which grew to be towns and city-states in various parts of the world. Early agricultural implementsâ€”the digging stick, the hoe , the scythe, and the plow â€”developed slowly over the centuries, each innovation (e.g., the introduction of iron) causing profound changes in human life. From early times, too, people created ingenious systems of irrigation to control water supply, especially in semiarid areas and regions of periodic rainfall, e.g., the Middle East, the American Southwest and Mexico, the Nile Valley, and S Asia. Farming was often intimately associated with landholding (see tenure ) and therefore with political organization. Growth of large estates involved the use of slaves (see slavery ) and bound or semifree labor. In the Western Middle Ages the manorial system was the typical organization of more or less isolated units and determined the nature of the agricultural village. In Asia large holdings by the nobles, partly arising from feudalism (especially in China and Japan), produced a similar pattern. The Rise of Commercial Agriculture As the Middle Ages waned, increasing communications, the commercial revolution, and the rise of cities in Western Europe tended to turn agriculture away from subsistence farming toward the growing of crops for sale outside the community (commercial agriculture). In Britain the practice of inclosure allowed landlords to set aside plots of land, formerly subject to common rights, for intensive cropping or fenced pasturage, leading to efficient production of single crops. In the 16th and 17th cent. horticulture was greatly developed and contributed to the so-called agricultural revolution. Exploration and intercontinental trade, as well as scientific investigation, led to the development of horticultural knowledge of various crops and the exchange of farming methods and products, such as the potato, which was introduced from America along with beans and corn (maize) and became almost as common in N Europe as rice is in SE Asia. The appearance of mechanical devices such as the sugar mill and Eli Whitney's cotton gin helped to support the system of large plantations based on a single crop. The Industrial Revolution after the late 18th cent. swelled the population of towns and cities and increasingly forced agriculture into greater integration with general economic and financial patterns. In the American colonies the independent, more or less self-sufficient family farm became the norm in the North, while the plantation, using slave labor, was dominant (although not universal) in the South. The free farm pushed westward with the frontier. Modern Agriculture In the N and W United States the era of mechanized agriculture began with the invention of such farm machines as the reaper , the cultivator , the thresher, and the combine . Other revolutionary innovations, e.g., the tractor , continued to appear over the years, leading to a new type of large-scale agriculture. Modern science has also revolutionized food processing; refrigeration, for example, has made possible the large meatpacking plants and shipment and packaging of perishable foods. Urbanization has fostered the specialties of market gardening and truck farming . Harvesting operations (see harvester ) have been mechanized for almost every plant product grown. Breeding programs have developed highly specialized animal, plant, and poultry varieties, thus increasing production efficiency. The development of genetic engineering has given rise to genetically modified transgenic crops and, to a lesser degree, livestock that possess a gene from an unrelated species that confers a desired quality. Such modification allows livestock to be used as "factories" for the production of growth hormone and other substances (see pharming ). In the United States and other leading food-producing nations agricultural colleges and government agencies attempt to increase output by disseminating knowledge of improved agricultural practices, by the release of new plant and animal types, and by continuous intensive research into basic and applied scientific principles relating to agricultural production and economics. These changes have, of course, given new aspects to agricultural policies. In the United States and other developed nations, the family farm is disappearing, as industrialized farms, which are organized according to industrial management techniques, can more efficiently and economically adapt to new and ever-improving technology, specialization of crops, and the volatility of farm prices in a global economy. Niche farming, in which specialized crops are raised for a specialized market, e.g., heirloom tomatoes or exotic herbs sold to gourmet food shops and restaurants, revived or encouraged some smaller farms in the latter 20th and early 21st cents., but did little to stop the overall decrease in family farms. In Third World countries, where small farms, using rudimentary techniques, still predominate, the international market has had less effect on the internal economy and the supply of food. Most of the governments of the world face their own type of farm problem, and the attempted solutions vary as much as does agriculture itself. The modern world includes areas where specialization and conservation have been highly refined, such as Denmark, as well as areas such as N Brazil and parts of Africa, where forest peoples still employ "slash-and-burn" agricultureâ€”cutting down and burning trees, exhausting the ash-enriched soil, and then moving to a new area. In other regions, notably SE Asia, dense population and very small holdings necessitate intensive cultivation, using people and animals but few machines; here the yield is low in relation to energy expenditure. In many countries extensive government programs control the planning, financing, and regulation of agriculture. Agriculture is still the occupation of almost 50% of the world's population, but the numbers vary from less than 3% in industrialized countries to over 60% in Third World countries. See also agricultural subsidies ; dry farming ; Granger movement ; Green Revolution ; ranch ; range . See R. Jager, The Fate of Family Farming (2004).
During the latter half of the twentieth century, what is known today as modern agriculture was very successful in meeting a growing demand for food by the world's population. Yields of primary crops such as rice and wheat increased dramatically, the price of food declined, the rate of increase in crop yields generally kept pace with population growth, and the number of people who consistently go hungry was slightly reduced. This boost in food production has been due mainly to scientific advances and new technologies, including the development of new crop varieties, the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and the construction of large irrigation systems. Modern agricultural systems have been developed with two related goals in mind: to obtain the highest yields possible and to get the highest economic profit possible. In pursuit of these goals, six basic practices have come to form the backbone of production: intensive tillage, monoculture , application of inorganic fertilizer, irrigation, chemical pest control, and genetic manipulation of crop plants. Each practice is used for its individual contribution to productivity, but when they are all combined in a farming system each depends on the others and reinforces the need for using the others. The work of agronomists, specialists in agricultural production, has been key to the development of these practices. The soil is cultivated deeply, completely, and regularly in most modern agricultural systems, and a vast array of tractors and farm implements have been developed to facilitate this practice. The soil is loosened, water drains better, roots grow faster, and seeds can be planted more easily. Cultivation is also used to control weeds and work dead plant matter into the soil. When one crop is grown alone in a field, it is called a monoculture. Monoculture makes it easier to cultivate, sow seed, control weeds, and harvest, as well as expand the size of the farm operation and improve aspects of profitability and cost. At the same time, monocultures tend to promote the use of the other five basic practices of modern agriculture. Very dramatic yield increases occur with the application of synthetic chemical fertilizers. Relatively easy to manufacture or mine, to transport, and to apply, fertilizer use has increased from five to ten times what it was at the end of World War II (1939-45). Applied in either liquid or granular form, fertilizer can supply crops with readily available and uniform amounts of several essential plant nutrients. By supplying water to crops during times of dry weather or in places of the world where natural rainfall is not sufficient for growing most crops, irrigation has greatly boosted the food supply. Drawing water from underground wells, building reservoirs and distribution canals, and diverting rivers have improved yields and increased the area of available farm land. Special sprinklers, pumps, and drip systems have greatly improved the efficiency of water application as well. In the large monoculture fields of much of modern agriculture, pests include such organisms as insects that eat plants, weeds that interfere with crop growth, and diseases that slow plant and animal development or even cause death. When used properly, synthetic chemicals have provided an effective, relatively easy way to provide such control. Chemical sprays can quickly respond to pest outbreaks. Farmers have been choosing among crop plants and animals for specific characteristics for thousands of years. But modern agriculture has taken advantage of several more recent crop breeding techniques. The development of hybrid seed, where two or more strains of a crop are combined to produce a more productive offspring, has been one of the most significant strategies. Genetic engineering has begun to develop molecular techniques that selectively introduce genetic information from one organism to another, often times from very unrelated organisms, with a goal of capitalizing on specific useful traits. But for almost every benefit of modern agriculture, there are usually problems. Excessive tillage led to soil degradation, the loss of organic matter, soil erosion by water and wind, and soil compaction . Large monocultures are especially prone to devastating pest outbreaks that often occur when pests encounter a large, uniform area of one crop species, requiring the continued and excessive use of chemical sprays. When used excessively, chemical fertilizers can be easily leached out of the soil into nearby streams and lakes, or even down into underground water supplies. Farmers can become dependent on chemical pest and weed control. Modern farm systems lack the natural control agents needed for biological pest management, and larger amounts of sprays must be used as pests rapidly evolve resistance. People also worry about chemical pollution of the environment by sprays and fertilizers, and the possible contamination of food supplies. Modern agriculture has become such a large user of water resources that overuse, depletion, saltwater contamination, salt buildup in soil, fertilizer leaching, and soil erosion have become all too common. Agricultural water users compete with urban and industrial use, and wildlife as well. Hybrid seed has contributed greatly to the loss of genetic diversity and increased risk of massive crop failure, as well as an increased dependence on synthetic and non-renewable inputs needed for maintaining high yield. Genetically engineered crops have the same negative potential, especially as the selection process takes place less and less in the hands of farmers working in their own fields, but rather in far away laboratories. In the future, in order to take advantage of new technologies and practices, farming systems will need to be viewed as ecosystems , or agricultural ecosystems. By monitoring both the positive and negative impacts of modern farming practices, ecologically based alternatives can be developed that protect the health of the soil, air, and water on farms and nearby areas, lower the economic costs of production, and promote viable farming communities around the world. Organic agriculture, conservation tillage, integrated pest management (IPM), and the use of appropriate genetic techniques that enhance local adaptation and variety performance are a few of the possible ways of ensuring the sustainability of future generations of farmers. see also Agricultural Ecosystems; Agriculture, History of; Agriculture, Organic; Agronomist; Breeder; Breeding; Fertilizer; Herbicides. Stephen R. Gliessman Brown, Lester R. "Struggling to Raise Cropland Productivity." In State of the World: 1998, eds. Lester Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Hilary French. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1998. Gliessman, Stephen R. Agroecology: Ecological Processes in Sustainable Agriculture. Chelsea, MI: Ann Arbor Press, 1998.
From Yahoo Answers
Answers:Use of Chemistry in Agriculture: 1. Formulation of fertilizer. Proper amount of fertilizer will determine your optimum yield in crops which in turn gives you more profit. 2. Application of pesticides. Knowledge in chemistry will help you determine the right dosage, right chemicals to apply in controlling pest in your crops, thus minimizing the loss in your profit. 3. Formulation of vitamins, feeds ratio and vaccines for animals needs at least basic knowledge in chemistry. 4. Understanding the biological and physiological process of all domesticated livestocks and plants are all based on the basic knowledge in biology and chemistry.
Answers:Organic chemistry is chemistry that relates to carbon bonds... as in the petroleum and plastics industries. Bio-chemistry is chemistry as it relates to living organisms, as bio-physics is physics of living things. My Alma mater was a university that grew from an agricultural and veterinary colleges, so that we had those as community college level plus university degree courses. Agricultural science degree was a BSc with an honours major in Agricultural applications of science, but also required some courses in economics as they related to agriculture. I worked as a lab assistant, serving our community college section, while I was in a general BSc stream. They had to make it as scientists as well as learning the applications to agriculture... things like the chemistry and physics of the soil... not primarily organic chemistry because most of the soil is not organic chemistry. In this case, organic chemistry is a totally unrelated use of the word organic as compared to organic farming.
Answers:The pH of soil is very important for the health of the plant. If the pH of the soil is very acidic or very alkaline plants can be stunted or die. Some plants prefer acidic pH and others prefer higher pH. Some flowers change color due to the pH of the soil. Clay is a base and also buffers the pH of soil. Leaves and wood makes the soil acidic. I would go to the library and check out a book on soil and one on plants, because you are not going to learn all the interesting facts on this subject.
Answers:From your question I guess you are looking for something like fertilizer, this requires lots of energy to produce.