Agriculture has been a fundamental part of human civilization. For thousands of years and the methods used to farm and raise livestock have evolved over time. One of the most widely used agricultural systems today is extensive agriculture. This consists of cultivate large tracts of land with minimal input of labor and capital. In this article we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of extensive agriculture. And everything that this model of agriculture entails.
Concept and meaning of extensive agriculture
Extensive agriculture is a type of agriculture that consists of cultivating large tracts of land with a minimum input of labor and capital. This method of planting is usually used in places where the land is plentiful and scarce labor, as in rural areas.
Extensive agriculture is characterized by low-maintenance crops and livestock, which require minimal attention and resources to grow and produce. This type of work is very often associated with large-scale commercial operations. They use to make food and livestock At national and international level.
What are the characteristics of extensive agriculture?
Extensive agriculture is a agricultural production plan, which is characterized by using simple techniques. Likewise, primary and economic to increase productivity. Also to have a reduction in the use of fertilizers, pesticides and energy inputs.
The main specific characteristics of extensive agriculture are:
- This type of cultivation is very diverse, since it is based on the planting of common soft grains (soybean, wheat, barley, sorghum and paradises), thus reducing the use of harmful inputs.
- The supply of these lands is difficult for the farmer, because they are in areas with little accessibility. Practices include the use of hand tools, fertilizing the soil, and pest control.
- In addition, extensive agriculture usually use low-cost grasses. This means that farmers do not have to invest in expensive seeds for their crops. This makes it a very economical system for workers.
Another feature of this technique is the use of simple irrigation methods. This means that farmers do not have to invest in complex irrigation systems. Therefore, it helps to reduce the production cost and keep the crops always moist.
Extensive agriculture often uses synthetic fertilizers to improve crop yields. That is why farmers they do not have to invest in organic fertilizers like their crops. This reduces the cost of production and increases yields. It is an economical technique and easy management of resources.
Extensive agriculture is characterized by using large amounts of land and little labor. It is based on planting a single product and on the intensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The latter give the planting a very orderly appearance, however, at the cost of the ecosystem’s health. This type of farming is very profitable in the short term, but in the long term it is unsustainable.
What are the types of extensive agriculture?
The most typical crops of extensive agriculture are olives, wheat and wine. dry production Without irrigation it is very common in these areas, since the lands are usually quite abrupt. In general, extensive agriculture is less productive than intensive agriculture, but it has lower costs and is more respectful of the environment.
Extensive agriculture is divided into two subcategories: economic agriculture and intensive agriculture. Economic agriculture is characterized by the use of simple techniques and low cost, both crop rotation and grazing. In contrast, intensive agriculture uses more sophisticated techniques, for irrigation, fertilization and pest control.
Most of the traditional forms of extensive agriculture are temporary, that is, they are only practiced during one season. It is often compared to intensive, which consists of cultivating small tracts of land with a large contribution of labor and capital. While extensive agriculture is characterized by low-maintenance crops and livestock, intensive agriculture is characterized by high-maintenance crops and livestock, which require a lot of attention and resources to grow and produce.
It is very common in the olive tree areas, where olive oil is produced. It is characterized by its high planting density, the intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides, and controlled irrigation. Most crops are grown in greenhouses or protected fields.
commercial extensive agriculture
It is a form of agricultural production focused on the manufacture of large amounts of food, often on small farms. That is why they use simple methods and primitive technologies. This type of agriculture is based on intensive systems that use little or no modern inputs, such as chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The usual crops are cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Extensive commercial agriculture is the type of work that is carried out in order to obtain an economic benefit. It is characterized by the intensive use, natural resources such as water, soil and fertilizer. This makes it possible to achieve a high level of processing on a reduced surface area, which in turn generates high manufacturing costs.
This type of agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years and is still very common in rural areas around the world. The main advantages of extensive commercial agriculture are the low initial costs, the low consumption of modern inputs and the high potential production.
Extensive rainfed agriculture
Extensive rainfed agriculture is the type of agriculture that is practiced in temperate climate zones with hot summers and very frequent droughts. The objective of this type of agriculture is maximize production using the minimum number of resources, which means less environmental impact. The main dry crops are wheat, corn, barley and rice.
Extensive rainfed agriculture is understood to be that intended for the production of a large amount of food, with the aim of meet basic needs of the population, without resorting to intensive use or mechanized systems. This modality is characterized by cultivation in large areas and in natural conditions, without resorting to any type of industrial process for its development.
In general, the crops obtained with this modality are basic crops of cereals, vegetables and fruit trees. Extensive rainfed agriculture It is also known as traditional or biological agriculture.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of extensive agriculture?
Despite its drawbacks, extensive farming has many benefits that make it an attractive option for farmers around the world. One of the main advantages of extensive agriculture is its low cost. Since it requires a minimum input of labor and capital, it is usually less expensive than other types of agriculture.
This makes it an attractive option for farmers seeking Maximize your profits by minimizing your expenses. Another advantage of extensive agriculture is its ability to produce high-yield crops and livestock.
Thanks to the fact that extensive agriculture implies the cultivation of large tracts of land, it should produce large amounts of food and livestock, which can be sold at a premium in the market. This makes it an attractive option for farmers looking to increase their profits and grow their businesses.
Finally, extensive livestock farming is often used to produce crops and livestock that are well adapted to the climate and local soil conditions. This can help farmers produce crops and livestock that are more resistant to drought, pests, and other environmental problems. What can help them maintain their yields and achieve great benefits with this extensive and temporary method.
Despite its many advantages, extensive farming also has its drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages is its impact on the environment. Involves the cultivation of large tracts of land, can cause deforestation, soil erosion and habitat destruction. In addition, the use of pesticides and some chemical products in extensive agriculture can cause contamination of water courses and other environmental problems.
Its impact on the local community. Since extensive farming requires minimal labor input, it often results in the displacement of local workers, who may thus lose their jobs and livelihoods. In addition, it grants lead to concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a small number of large-scale commercial farmers, allowing them to have a negative impact on the local economy.
Finally, extensive agriculture can be vulnerable to problems such as drought, pests and climate change. It can be difficult adapt to changing environmental conditions, which gives rise to a decrease in yields and benefits over time.
Which countries practice extensive agriculture?
Extensive agriculture is a type of agriculture that is characterized by the use of large amounts of land and some resources. It is practiced in regions with warm climates and little rain, where vegetation is not abundant. The countries that practice extensive agriculture are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. This is because these countries have large tracts of land where this practice can be carried out.
Extensive agriculture is a inefficient form of agricultural production in which only basic ways are used to obtain a minimum result. Instead of using advanced techniques like irrigation or direct seeding, farmers use manures and chemical fertilizers to maximize yields.
Examples of the use of extensive agriculture
It is practiced in many parts of the world, especially in areas where land is abundant and labor is scarce. Some of the best known examples of extensive agriculture are the cattle ranches of the american westthe wheat fields of the Great Plains and the rice paddies of Southeast Asia.
Other examples of extensive agriculture are the soybean fields of Brazil, the cornfields of Iowa, and the cotton fields of the southern United States. In addition, extensive agriculture is practiced in many parts of Africa, where farmers rely on large tracts of land to grow crops and livestock for national and international markets. Likewise, it is practiced in many parts of the world with different crops and agricultural systems.
In conclusion, understanding the pros and cons of extensive farming can help farmers make informed decisions about their farming practices and achieve greater success in their agricultural enterprises. As the world faces new challenges, such as climate change and the growing demand for sustainable agriculture.
The future of extensive agriculture is likely to be shaped by a number of factors, including technological advances, changes in consumer preferences and environmental concerns. That is why it is important to know this type of issues in terms of existing agriculture.