The Agricultural Evolution

Farming and agriculture have come a long way since the ox and plow. Growing populations and greater demands for food have put the farming community on point. Turning the dirt in the old ways did produce quite a bountiful harvest, yet lately, it is not quite enough. An ever-evolving health-conscience society have created new demands that were never imagined before. What began as a basic hometown growing industry, suddenly found themselves looking for ways to double their production on the same parcel of land to meet the needs of a booming society. Since the land was going to get no bigger, the crops would have to.

Enter the age of fertilizers and growth enhancers. While producing the desired effect of a larger than normal crop yield, the chemicals were having an adverse effect on the consumers. Soon, the populace was calling for an alternative. This is when organic crops began to emerge. Growing crops with no chemicals of any type on certain farms was the popular alternative. Unfortunately, this has proven to produce smaller yields. Lesser crops lead to higher prices due to the high cost of producing less. While organic still has a grip in the market, it is still less productive for farmers in the long run.

Organic yields lag conventional by 20% in developed countries, 43% in Africa, meta-analyses find

Another option that has found popularity is hydroponics. This is growing crops in water, gravel, or sand with water and minerals fed into the growing medium. This method allows farmers to grow in totally new ways. By utilizing greenhouses, growers can produce crops all year long. Soil is not necessary with this method, only running water, a growing medium, and mineral additives the plants absorb.

Organic growing takes nutrients from the soil, uses no chemical additives, and is the most natural, yet less profitable means of growing. Hydroponics uses water, a stabilizing material, and added minerals for growing year round, producing more crops. Both ways are tried and true as far as nutrition is concerned. While organic growing is most like grandmas garden, pure and simple, hydroponics may well be the best way to meet the new food demands of the times. No matter which way you prefer, there can be no argument that farming and agriculture have had to grow with societal demands.